Thursday, November 18, 2010 | By: Furqon Abdi

Biography of Alexander Pope

Alexander pope
Alexander Pope was the leading English poet of the early 18th century, famous for his works An Essay on Criticism and The Rape of the Lock. He was a major critic and satirist. In the 1700s, he was so popular that this era was once known as the "Age of Pope."
Alexander Pope was born on May 21, 1688 into a Roman Catholic family in London. At that time Roman Catholics were not able to live where they wished, practise their religion openly, or attend certain schools. As a result, Pope's formal education was often interrupted and of poor quality, but despite this, he learned by teaching himself Latin, Greek, French and Italian. His father was a cloth merchant living in the City (a part of London). in Alexander's childhood, the Pope family was forced to relocate to be in compliance with a statute forbidding Catholics from living within ten miles of London or Westminster. They moved to Binfield (Berkshire).
Pope's disease--apparently tuberculosis of the bone--became evident when he was about twelve. Later in Pope's life, Sir Joshua Reynolds described him as "about four feet six high; very humpbacked and deformed." (A sketch of Pope) A more recent biographer (Maynard Mack 155-6) has written that Pope was "afflicted with constant headaches, sometimes so severe that he could barely see the paper he wrote upon, frequent violent pain at bone and muscle joints...shortness of breath, increasing inability to ride horseback or even walk for exercise...."
Pope began to write as a teenager. His remarkable poem An Essay on Criticism was published just before he turned 23 years old. It includes the famous line "A little learning is a dangerous thing." Some of the critics and writers that it made fun of responded by cruelly attacking his of his physical deformities by calling him a "hunchbacked toad."
His mock epic poem The Rape of the Lock was published the following year. It tells of a suitor who steals a lock of hair from a young woman. Pope wrote it to mock the habits of fashionable people.
Between 1715 and 1726 Pope translated classical texts such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and Imitation of Horace. He then went on to write many more satirical poems, including The Dunciad, which ridicules bad writers, scientist and critics.
William Wycherley, impressed by some of Pope's early poetry, introduced him into fashionable London literary circles (in 1704). Public attention came with the publication of Pastorals in 1709. The Rape of the Lock helped secure Pope's reputation as a leading poet of the age.
Pope moved to his villa in Twickenham in 1717. While there he received visitors (just about everyone), attacked his literary contemporaries and continued to publish poetry. He died on 30 May, 1744, at Twickenham.
here are some poems from Alexander Pope:
Sound and sense
Couplets on wit
You know where you did despise
The dying Christian to his soul 


Post a Comment