2007년4권2호 Adieu to the Public Function of Satire: The Art of Life in Alexander Pope’s Imitations of Horace (전인한) > 학회지목차및초록

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2007년4권2호 Adieu to the Public Function of Satire: The Art of Life in A…

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작성자 관리자 작성일10-06-18 09:39 조회5,030회 댓글0건

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the cause of the separation of satirist’s private integrity from the public function of satire in Alexander Pope’s later satires. This paper first points out that in the Epilogues to Satires (1738), Pope’s last formal verse satire, Pope advocates his personal integrity at the expense of the public function of satire unlike in Satire II. i (1733), where Pope’s advocation of the corrective function of his satire is closely related with the vindication of his personal integrity. This paper argues that we can conceive why and how Pope has come to give up the public function of satire through analyzing some of Pope’s Horatian imitations written between 1733 and 1738.
   Satire II. ii (1734) is a rare occasion, this paper asserts, in that in this satire is witnessed Pope’s conviction that private morality can be a basis of public engagement. Yet, the conviction of this kind is not to last, as, in Epistle II. ii (1737), the possibility of achieving private morality, that is, the art of life, is seriously doubted. This kind of doubt verges on pessimism, as Pope reveals the urgent need to tend to the perfection of his inner self. While Epistle II. ii reveals Pope’s doubt whether he can achieve the ideal of the art of life, To Murray (1738) shows Pope’s belief that politics and the active involvement in the world is futile and thus should be the object of “not to admire.”
Epistle II. ii and To Murray can be regarded as a pair of poems that demonstrates Pope’s inner conflict between his public self and private self. In these poems, Pope is very reluctant to acknowledge the need to sever the link between his public self and private self, as the possibility of achieving inner perfection is doubted at the same time as his desire to engage in the contemporary world is secretly recognized. Yet, at last in To Bolingbroke (1738), the need to sever the link is no longer resisted. In this poem, the room for the public function of satire is put aside for the more urgent need of achieving and maintaining personal integrity, as Pope’s powerful yearning for personal improvement struggles hard against inner doubt and the fear of failure.

Key Words


Alexander Pope, the art of life, the public function of satire, Satire II. ii, Epistle II. ii, To Murray, To Bolingbroke

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