God rules over the whole universe and has no special favorites, not man nor any other creature.
Any deviation from this order would result in cosmic destruction. Because the universe is so highly ordered, chance, as man understands it, does not exist. Introduction : The introduction begins with an address to Henry St.
John, Lord Bolingbroke, a friend of the poet from whose fragmentary philosophical writings Pope likely drew inspiration for An Essay on Man. Section II : Section II states that man is imperfect but perfectly suited to his place within the hierarchy of creation according to the general order of things.
Section III : Section III demonstrates that man's happiness depends on both his ignorance of future events and on his hope for the future. By putting himself in the place of God, judging perfection and justice, man acts impiously. This is particularly apparent in the hierarchy of earthly creatures and their subordination to man.
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Pope refers specifically to the gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, and reason. Reason is superior to all. These arguments certainly support a fatalistic world view.
God thus has a specific intention for every element of His creation, which suggests that all things are fated. Pope, however, was always greatly distressed by charges of fatalism.
Comments from the archive
The first epistle of An Essay on Man is its most ambitious. His own philosophical conclusions make this impossible.
Indeed, eighteenth-century critics saw An Essay on Man as a primarily poetic work despite its philosophical themes. What does the poet mean by native air? Explain summary of the poem the dunciad.
Pope's Poems and Prose study guide contains a biography of Alexander Pope, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Pope's Poems and Prose essays are academic essays for citation.
Alexander Pope's Essay on Man, Epistle 1 Read-Along
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Pope's Poems and Prose
Buy Study Guide. There are three different versions of this poem.
Which are you looking to find a summary for? The mood seems to be of acceptance and self-aware.