Alexander Pope An Essay On Criticism Part 2 Summary

Alexander Pope An Essay On Criticism Part 2 Summary-51
Pope, however, was always greatly distressed by charges of fatalism.

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According to Pope’s own conclusions, man’s limited intellect can comprehend only a small portion of God’s order and likewise can have knowledge of only half-truths.

It therefore seems the height of hubris to presume to justify God’s ways to man.

Thus every element of the universe has complete perfection according to God’s purpose.

Pope concludes the first epistle with the statement “Whatever is, is right,” meaning that all is for the best and that everything happens according to God’s plan, even though man may not be able to comprehend it (294).

Section IV (113-30): Section IV claims that man’s sin of pride—the attempt to gain more knowledge and pretend to greater perfection—is the root of man’s error and misery.

By putting himself in the place of God, judging perfection and justice, man acts impiously.Pope urges his friend to “leave all meaner things” and rather embark with Pope on his quest to “vindicate the ways of God to man (1, 16).Section I (17-34): Section I argues that man can only understand the universe with regard to human systems and constructions because he is ignorant of the greater relationships between God’s creations.Section V (131-72): Section V depicts the absurdity of man’s belief that he is the sole cause of the creation as well as his ridiculous expectation of perfection in the moral world that does not exist in the natural world.Section VI (173-206): Section VI decries the unreasonableness of man’s complaints against Providence; God is good, giving and taking equally.Here is a section-by-section explanation of the first epistle: Introduction (1-16): 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 .This order is, more specifically, a hierarchy of the “Vast chain of being” in which all of God’s creations have a place (237).Man’s place in the chain is below the angels but above birds and beasts.If man had the omniscience of God, he would be miserable: “The bliss of man [...] / Is, not to act of think beyond mankind” (189-90).Section VII (207-32): Section VII shows that throughout the visible world, a universal order and gradation can be observed.


Comments Alexander Pope An Essay On Criticism Part 2 Summary

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