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The Augustan Age and Alexander Pope

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Literary critics have often commented that among the English satirists, Pope occupies a great place. Because of his physical constitution, Pope often ridiculed individual weaknesses of Englishmen as well as female sex. As a believer in Roman Catholic religion, Pope had subjected to the contempt and hatred of many English people. Catholic people were deeply burdened with various taxes and were prohibited from acquiring real property. One can comprehend Pope’ s style through the words of Paul Baines when he rightly observed Poe’ s style of writing. According to the author, “ Pope’ s handling of seemingly opposed moods (insolence, elegance, majesty, the ludicrous, pathos) is not only a sign of wonderful versatility but is the mark of a truly creative engagement with the world” (Baines, 2000.

P. 159) Such restrictions later forced him to think about pessimism and the ways to attack Protestantism through the medium of writing. Above all, Pope’ s life was a series of petty machinations, trickeries, and deceptions. Revenge and pessimism are the only expressions of such a man of irritable and suspicious nature. Literature has often been regarded as the interpretation of life and a means for criticizing the follies and foibles of society.

Majority of the writers during Augustine age used literature as a powerful weapon to portray the seamy side of English society. The works of Richard Steel and Addison have explored the gay fopperies; ball dances club sittings, cock-hunting, and religious deterioration. The Tatler and The Spectator portrayed the culture of coffee houses and paved the way for serious literary discussions. A kind of rational outlook and visible influence of French were the considerable features of the writings in Augustine Age.

Respectability and structured conformity played a vital role in literature. Boundless imagination and overflowing enthusiasm have vanished in Augustine age. Rational thinking and it took precedence over imagination. People in English society repress their real emotions and this hypocrisy has often revealed in literature.

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preview essay on The Augustan Age and Alexander Pope
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: Undergraduate
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