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Interest in his poetry was revived in the early 20th century.He is recognized as a great formal master, an eloquent expositor of the spirit of his age, and a representative of the culture and politics of the Enlightenment.
He never grew taller than four and a half feet, was hunchbacked, and required daily care throughout adulthood.
His irascible nature and unpopularity in the press are often attributed to three factors: his membership in a religious minority, his physical infirmity, and his exclusion from formal education.
However, Pope was bright, precocious, and determined and, by his teens, was writing accomplished verse. Publisher Jacob Tonson included Pope’s made him famous in wider circles.
In the mid-1720s, Pope became associated with a group of Tory literati called the Scriblerus Club, which included John Gay, Jonathan Swift, John Arbuthnot, and Thomas Parnell.
The club encouraged Pope to release a new translation of Homer’s (circa 8th century BCE) via subscription, a publication method whereby members of the public gave money in advance of a text’s appearance with the agreement that they would receive handsome, inscribed editions of the completed volumes.
The (circa 8th to 7th centuries BCE) and of Shakespeare’s works.The acknowledged master of the heroic couplet and one of the primary tastemakers of the Augustan age, Alexander Pope was a central figure in the Neoclassical movement of the early 18th century.He was known for having perfected the rhymed couplet form of his idol, John Dryden, and turned it to satiric and philosophical purposes.Its four sections, or “epistles,” present an aesthetic and philosophical argument for the existence of order in the world, contending that we know the world to be unified because God created it.Thus, it is only our inferior vision that perceives disunity, and it is each man’s duty to strive for the good and the orderly.He came to be seen as a philosopher and rhetorician rather than a poet, a view that persisted through the 19th and early 20th centuries.The rise of modernism, however, revived interest in pre-Romantic poetry, and Pope’s use of poetic form and irony made him of particular interest to the New Critics.Pope is also remembered as the first full-time professional English writer, having supported himself largely on subscription fees for his popular translations of Homer and his edition of the works of William Shakespeare.Although a major cultural figure of the 18th century, Pope fell out of favor in the Romantic era as the Neoclassical appetite for form was replaced by a vogue for sincerity and authenticity.In he responded openly for the first time, taking Theobald, who excoriated Pope’s edition of Shakespeare, as his first victim.Using the term “duncery” to refer to all that was tasteless, dull, and degraded in culture and literature, Pope mocked certain contemporary literary figures while making a larger point about the decline of art and culture.