Alexander Pope: Life and Works

Life Introduction

Alexander pope was a translator, poet, and satirist born on 21 May 1688 in London, England, and died on 30 May 1744 in England at 56. He is considered a great British Poet after William Shakespeare. His father’s name also was Alexander Pope. He was a linen merchant in the Strand, London. His mother’s name was Edith, daughter of William Turner. Alexander Pope was born to a roman catholic. Alexander Pope faced many difficulties getting an education because of the Test Acts. Test Acts were a series of English laws that banned Roman Catholics from teaching, attending a university, holding public office, and voting. Alexander Pope’s first teacher was his aunt, and later he went to two roman catholic schools in England. Though catholic schools were banned, some people dared to pursue roman catholic schools.

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Hix family went to a small estate called Binfield, Berkshire, in 1700. This estate was close to the Royal Windsor Forest. Alexander pope has given a small description of the countryside around his house in his poem Windsor Forest. His formal education was finished at that time. Later he learned much by reading the works of many classical writers like the famous satirist Horace and Juvenal, famous poets like Homer and Vergil, and many other English writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, and many others. Pope had read many famous works written in different types of languages like Italian, French, Latin, and Greek. Later he came into contact with many influencer figures like William Congreve Samuel, Grath, and William Trumbull.

While living in a small estate, Binfield, Pope became an important friend to John Caryl. Pope wrote a remarkable poem, Rape of the Lock, dedicating his friend John Caryl. He was almost 20 years older than Alexander Pope. Alexander Pope was introduced to an old playwright of London, William Wycherly and William Walsh, by John Caryl. William Walsh. was a minor writer who had helped Pope in writing his work The Pastorals. Pope also came in contact with Teressa and Martha; both of the women remained his lifelong friend.

When he was only 12 years old, he also suffered from many health problems, including pot disease. Pot disease is a form of tuberculosis that affected his Spine and the deformed Pope’s body, stunting his growth and leaving a hunchback to him. He had to face many other problems due to this tuberculosis, such as stomach pain, inflamed eyes, respiratory issues, etc. His height remained only 4 feet and 6 inches. As a Catholic, he was not acceptable in society, and his health problems, including his height issue, created a big distance between Pope and society. Though he remained a bachelor, he had several female friends, and it is known that he has written amusing letters to many women, including Lady Mary Wortley. Martley. Martha Blount, a lifelong friend of Alexander, is considered his lover.

Pope’s Writing Career

In 1709, Pope’s famous work Pastoral was published, which became very popular and gained popularity for Pope. Later in 1711, he published An Essay on Criticism. The same year, he became friends with Tory writers like Jonathan Swift, Thomas Parnell, and John Arbuthnot. He had also helped his friend Joseph write his play, Cato and The Guardian and Spectator. He had started translating The Illiad, which began to publish in 1715 and ended in 1720. From 1716 to 1719, he lived with his parents in Mawson Row, Cheswick. But later, in 1719, he moved to a Villa at Twickenham, where he made his grotto and garden by using the money he got by translating Illiad.

Pope’s Works

  • Pastorals in 1709
  • An Essay On Criticism in 1711
  • Messiah in 1712
  • Rape of the Lock in 1712
  • Windsor Forest in 1713
  • The Temple of Fame: A Vission in 1715
  • Elosia to Abelard in 1717
  • Three Hours After Marriage in 1717
  • Elegy to the Memory of the Unfortunate Lady in 1717
  • Peri Bathous in 1727
  • The Dunciad in 1728
  • Moral Essays in 1731 to 1735
  • Essay on Man in 1733 to 1734
  • Epistle to Arbuthnot in 1735

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