“Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne’er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be.”
— Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was perhaps one of the most well-known English poets of the eighteenth century. Alexander Pope was a poet who has always been famous for his mocking poems and for the translation that was presented by him of Homer. Apart from William Shakespeare, Alexander Pope has been considered by many as the second most frequently quoted writer in history. Alexander Pope had great command over the heroic couplet.
Alexander Pope was born to Alexander and Edith Pope, both of whom were Roman Catholocs in the well-known city of London. Considering the fact that he was a roman catholic, which effected his education to a great extent as the Church of England in those days banned the roman catholics from acquiring education. As he belonged to the roman catholic belief and lived at some stage in a time of Protestant consolidation in England, he was for the most part barred from the university system as well as from political activities. Because of this factor related to his religion, he also underwent a number of hardships when it came to certain societal and monetary disadvantages. Alexander Pope learnt reading by his aunt and he later admitted in Pope was taught to read by his aunt and then sent to two secret schools of the catholics located at Twyford and at Hyde Park Corner. In those days, although catholic schools were banned to exist, but they still were tolerated in certain areas.
According to sources, “most of his time Pope spend reading books from his father’s library – he “did nothing but write and read,” said later his half-sister. While still at school, Pope wrote a play based on speeches from the Iliad. In 1700, when his family moved to Binfield in Windsor Forest, Pope contracted tuberculosis through infected milk. It was probably Pott’s disease, a tubercular affection of the spine. He also suffered from asthma and headaches, and his humpback was a constant target for his critics in literary battles – Pope was called a ‘hunchbacked toad.’ In middle age he was 4ft 6in tall and wore a stiffened canvas bodice to support his spine” (Alexander Pope: 1688-1744).
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