Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad: Longest Satirical Work



“A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.”


The Dunciad (1728; final version 1743) is Alexander Pope’s logiest satirical work. All his merit and defects as a satirist are to be found in this poem. It appeared anonymously in 1728 with Theo bald as hero, and again in 1742 with the addition of a fourth work and with the substitution of Colley Cibber (1671-1757) for the bald as hero. Disliked for Cibber’s extreme conceit, he was satirized by the poet Alexander Pope in The Dunciad (1743), in which he was the main character. 

In The Dunciad Pope hurls the pointed shaft of his satire on contemporary poets, critics and furbishes who have incurred his wrath by just or unjust criticism of his writing, physical weakness, religion, tamely and has to. Pope’s satiric net even takes in the authors’ who were dead and who were yet to be born For he describes at length the reign of poets, past, present and future. The poet was inspired not only by Dryden’s Mac flecknoe but also from the literary influence of Horace and Juvenal.


Alexander Pope
The Dunciad is a brilliant satire, but it arouses in us a sense of pity that a man of such acknowledged poetic power ads pope should stoop to give expression to his mean personal spite and resentment. However, The Dunciad is important as a satiric picture of the deterioration of contemporary literary standards in general. Though the poem shows many flasher of Pope’s genius, there is a common feeling that Pope was highly monastic in branding such man as Theobald who was a great Shakespearean scholar and Bentley, the greatest lyrical scholar of England has never produced as dunces.




 
Let's answer these Questions: 

1. What is called a satire?
2. Who got the satiric hit in The Dunciad?


Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert     
     2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature

Popular Posts

Analysis of Mulk Raj Anand’s Story, "The Lost Child": Accepted Part of Our Multicultural Neighborhood in the World

Dr. West’s New Method of Teaching English :Its Merits and Demerits

G.B. Shaw’s Radio Talk, ‘Spoken English and Broken English’:Broken English’s Relevance in Today’s English Spoken World

Critical Appreciation of William Wordsworth's The Solitary Reaper

Critical Analyses of Henry Vaughan's poem " THE RETREAT"

Analysis of Virginia Woolf's Essay "Modern Fiction"

Brief Analysis of R.K Narayan’s ‘Engine Trouble’: Greater Simplicity of Plot and Language, even as it Develops a Greater Complexity of Meaning to Exhibit the Domain of India

Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers is Autobiographical Novel- Discussion on how Autobiography has Shaped the Growth of the Theme of the Novel and how Lawrence’s Personal Experiences have Shaped the Mode and Material

Analyses, after Marcel Junod, how “Hiroshima had ceased to exist” in “The First Atom Bomb”: Brutal Destruction of Hiroshima Pains us and Makes us Aware of the Great Dangers of a Nuclear War

Critical Analysis of Rabindranath Tagore’s Story 'Kabuliwala': Love and Waiting

Interested in more Literature resources? Check these out:

My photo

An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

"Dear Readers/ Students, I am a huge fan of books, English Grammar & Literature. I write this blog to instill that passion in you."