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Alexander Pope

Theme Analysis
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These themes are present in some of Pope's most famous works. In his "Essay on Man" Pope gives a neoclassical view of man. This view retracts from the earlier Renaissance view of a man as the center of the universe. The belief that humans inherently good and capable of unlimited feats comes also with the Renaissance. However, the man portrayed in this work is one ruled by passion and with limited capacities. Man presumes to understand existence yet how can he when he is a mere part of a whole plan, "Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate." Man is the piece of an infallible puzzle that he cannot comprehend , "all nature is but art unknown to thee...one truth is clear, whatever it is, is right." In the "The Rape of the Lock" the use of mock-heroic puts forth the theme of a society that cannot rise to epic standards and is thus mocked in its attempt to appear grandiose. In "Eloise to Abegard," death is seen as an endpoint for all, "Death, only death, can break the lasting chain." In "Eelgy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady" Pope reminds man that death will come no matter how mighty the man, "A heap of dust alone remains of thee; 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!" This quote presents the theme that everyone is equal when it comes to death.