Essay Of Man
It is an attempt to justify and vindicate the ways of God to man.It’s also a warning that man himself is not as in his pride, he seems to believe the center of all things.The first collected edition was published in April 1734.The poem was originally published anonymously, Pope not admitting its authorship until its appearance in The Works, II (April 1735).Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise and rudely great: With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest; In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast; In doubt his mind or body to prefer; Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little or too much; Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! mount where science guides, Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides; Instruct the planets in what orbs to run, Correct old time, and regulate the sun; Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere, To the first good, first perfect, and first fair; Or tread the mazy round his followers trod, And quitting sense call imitating God; As Eastern priests in giddy circles run, And turn their heads to imitate the sun.Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!Death is part of creation of God and should be cherish.Although Pope worked on this poem from 1729 and had finished the first three epistles by 1731, they did not appear until between February and May 1733, and the fourth epistle was published in January 1734.
I was unable to treat this part of my subject in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without sacrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandering from the precision, breaking the chain of reasoning: If any man unite all these without diminution of any of them freely confesshe will compass a thing above my capacity."What is now Published is only to be considered as a general Map of Man, marking out no more than the greater parts, their extent, their limits, and their connection, and leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in the charts which are to follow. The gradations of sense, instinct, thought, refection, reason; that Reason alone countervails all the other faculties, ver. It appears unsatisfy We utter our body parts to make it look perfect to us.The use of weak and blind in the essay tells how man is unsatisfied not be able to see things his way and hence making him unhappy.God has ranked man on top of the order of the chain but yet man is unsatisfied. Is God who gives and he who takes so man should not be upset if death occur.Just like some trees leaves die to yield fresh ones and mother cockroaches die to have new ones, man has to view death as right of passage and accept it as part of life rather than to be sad, miserable or disgruntle.Eventhough not truly Christian, the essay makes implicit assumption that man has fallen and that he must seek his own salvation.Pope sets out to demonstrate that no matter how imperfect complex and disturbingly full evil the universe may appear to be, it does function in a rational fashion, according to natural laws and is in fact considered as a whole perfect work of God. The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more perfection, the cause of man's error and misery.The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice of his dispensations. The unreasonableness of his complaints against Providence, while on the one hand he demands the perfections of the angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of the brutes; though, to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable. That throughout the whole visible world, an universal order and gradation in the sentual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and all creatures to man.The disputes are all upon these last, and, I will venture to say, they have less sharpened the wits than the hearts of men against each other, and have diminished the practice, more than advanced the theory, of morality. The consequence of all, the absolute submission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state, ver. The extent, limits and use of human reason and science, the author designed as the subject of his next book of Ethic Epistles." Back to Line"[Pope] The manner of the Lions hunting their prey in the deserts of Africa is this: At their first going out in the nighttime they set up a loud roar, and then listen to the noise made by the beasts in their flight, pursuing them by the ear, and not by the nostril.If I could flatter myself that this Essay has any merit, it is in steering betwixt the extremes of doctrines seemingly opposite, in passing over terms utterly unintelligible, and in forming a temperate yet not inconsistent, and a short yet not imperfect system of Ethics."This I might have done in prose; but I chose verse, and even rhyme, for two reasons. The extravagance, madness, and pride of such a desire, ver. It is probable the story of the jackal's hunting for the lion was occasioned by observation of this defect of scent in that terrible animal." Back to Line The double order in human, angel, man is explained by such traditional doctrine as: "In our minds, verily, we be so celestial and of so godly capacity that we may surmount above the nature of angels and be unite, knit, and made one with God" (Erasmus, Enchiridon, IV).