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Since the Romantic era and Matthew Arnold’s infamous dictum that Pope and his contemporaries are “not classics of our poetry, they are classics of our prose”, there has existed a prejudice against the idea of Pope as a poet. Imagination and feeling are valued above wit and reason and Pope, in particular, is remembered and read as the author of “The Rape of the Lock”, a few satirical verses and quotable phrases such as “The proper study of mankind is Man” and “A little learning is a dangerous thing”.
The purpose of this course will be to question this view of his work and consider the depth and vigour of his achievement by a close look at some of his later major poems: the Moral Epistles to Burlington, to Bathurst and to Arbuthnot, and what many regard as his magnum opus “The Dunciad’–particularly Book IV. The focus will be on the poetry, but inevitably there will be reference to the social and political–and even the personal–context and background.
Pope: The Major Works;
or any selection which contains the poems mentioned in the course outline.
Extracts from the poems will be distributed during the course.
Day: Thursday Time: 10.30am-12.30
Date: 8 weeks, 5 October to 30 November, 2017 (Mid term break 2nd November 2017)
Manchester M13 9GH
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Please send your booking form with an accompanying cheque to:
Barry Wood, 12 St. Brannock’s Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 0UP