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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pope's indignation Savage, David Bicknell


Satire is the usual expression, in literature, of indignation. Being uncommonly well read, Pope was very familiar with the traditional literary expressions of indignation. There were two main branches to the literary tradition of indignation, the classical, which was the more important in Pope's case, and the Judaic-Christian. In the classical branch, the most noteworthy influences on Pope were Juvenal and Horace. In the Judaic-Christian branch, the Old Testament prophets such as Jeremiah were influential. From both branches, Pope inherited, and in many cases improved upon, the traditional methods of satire, such as monologue, parody, paradox, burlesque, topical references, and irony. Even while using the traditional methods, Pope was able to place his individual stamp upon his works. Besides the literary tradition to which he related, a second source of Pope's indignation was his personality as shaped by his experience. The main sources of indignation in Pope's life are discussed in this thesis, and examination shows that his letters accurately point to these sources of indignation. The same main causes of his indignation are also revealed in his literary works. Two conclusions are reached: that for Pope indignation was one of the well-springs of literary creation, and that Pope's expressions of indignation were sometimes transmuted into art.

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