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Pope and Johnson’s Maze of Life

An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope is a philosophical poem written in the form of heroic couplets. It was published between 1732–1734. It consists of four parts facing Lord Bolingbroke, and includes both thoughts from his own fragmentary philosophical writings, and ideas expressed by the third Earl of Shaftesbury, a well-known philosopher, pupil, and an opponent of Locke.

This is one of the most outstanding works by Alexander Pope. It differs from others with a more rigid satire. It contained an aspiration to comprehend the philosophical truth of life: life seems to man to be chaotic, formless, and unsystematic, but at the same time ordered (the person occupies the middle in the world) and, in fact, a coherent (cohesive) part of the divine plan.

In the world of Pope, God exists and his universe is in the place ruled by God. A limited human intellect can realize a tiny fraction of this rule. It can discover only a partial truth, but hopes that it is attached to the divine grace.

A person should strive for knowledge, even staying while occupying an insignificant position. One must understand the scale of values: those things that he or she recognizes more than anything – wealth, power, or glory. The duty of man is to strive for the better, even if they are doomed to death, because they are not eternal, their body is frail.

Vanity of Human Wishes is one of the most famous works by Samuel Johnson. Its leading motive is the collapse of human hopes and illusions. It is written in imitation of the tenth satire of Juvenal.

In this work, which is deservedly considered the pinnacle of Johnson’s poetic creativity, his moral philosophy is embodied, the core of which was the doctrines of Anglican philosophers-rationalists, modified under the influence of the enlightenment beliefs of the English thinker.

Among the central philosophical problems that worried Samuel Johnson were the vital questions for the Enlightenment about good and evil, the nature of man, spiritual essence, which they solved with the support of Christian teaching. Fundamentally important for him in terms of polemics with deistic ontological ideas was the refutation of the theories of those philosophers who believed that the presence of evil in the world proves the absence of divine will in it.

Both works explore the maze of life, human nature, society, and morals. They both contrast life to a maze but have a different way to get through it.

An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope is a philosophical poem written in the form of heroic couplets. It was published between 1732–1734. It consists of four parts facing Lord Bolingbroke, and includes both thoughts from his own fragmentary philosophical writings, and ideas expressed by the third Earl of Shaftesbury, a well-known philosopher, pupil, and an opponent of Locke.

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100005276
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CREATED ON
30 June 2017
COMPLETED ON
1 July 2017
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$47
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