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Some critics have argued that the resulting conglomeration is inharmonious; in fairness to Pope, we might cite one of his portraits of the satirist: Verse-man or Prose-man, term me which you will, Papist or Protestant, or both between, Like good Erasmus in an honest Mean, In moderation placing all my glory, While Tories call me Whig, and Whigs a Tory.
While much of Pope’s essay bemoans the abyss into which current literary criticism has fallen, he does not by any means denounce the practice of criticism itself.
While he cautions that the best poets make the best critics (“Let such teach others who themselves excell,” l.
The purpose for writing a critique is to evaluate somebody's work (a book, an essay, a movie, a painting...) in order to increase the reader's understanding of it.
A critical analysis is subjective writing because it expresses the writer's opinion or evaluation of a text. Writing a critical paper requires two steps: critical reading and critical writing.
To begin with, Pope is not merely delineating the scope and nature of good literary criticism; in doing this, he redefines classical virtues in terms of an exploration of nature and wit, as necessary to both poetry and criticism; and this restatement of classicism is itself situated within a broader reformulation of literary history, tradition, and religion.
Above all, these three endeavors are pursued in the form of a : the form of the work exemplifies and enacts much of its overt “meaning.” And its power far exceeds its paraphrasable meaning: this power rests on the poetic effects generated by its own enactment of classical literary dispositions and its own organic unity.
He is essentially calling for a return to the past, a return to classical values, and the various secularizing movements that he bemoans are already overwhelming the view of nature, man, and God that he is attempting to redeem.
Indeed, Pope’s poem has been variously called a study and defense of “nature” and of “wit.” The word “nature” is used twenty-one times in the poem; the word “wit” forty-six times.
Pope’s notions of wit were worked out in the context of this debate, and his redefinition of “true” wit in was a means not only of upholding the proper uses of wit but also of defending literature itself, wit being a mode of knowing or apprehension unique to literature.1 It would be facile to dismiss Pope’s as an unoriginal work, as a hotchpotch of adages drawn from the likes of Aristotle, Horace, Quintilian, Longinus, and Boileau.
While the isolated insights offered by Pope may not be original, the poem as a whole undertakes a number of endeavors that, in their poetic unification, might well be viewed as novel.