The underlying theme and interest of much of Pope’s poetry is proportion-moral, social and aesthetic. The Essay on Criticism is most frequently concerned with the proper harmony of parts of a poem and their fit relation to the whole, whereby, as in ‘some well-proportion’d Dome/… No single Parts unequally surprize;/All comes united to th’admiring Eyes’ (247–50). The mock-heroic basis of The Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad is the disproportion between the high terms used and the trivial or vulgar reality. The insistence of the Essay on Man is on the need for every being to keep to its proper station and bounds within the hierarchy of being.


Paradise Lost False Friend Fair Evening Phonetic Transition Ruling Passion 
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Copyright information

© C. N. Manlove 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. N. Manlove
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghUK

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