Brownell; Pope; Socrates; autobiography
Morris Brownell explained the nature and significance of Alexander Pope's death in order to exemplify the 18th century art of dying.
Pope imitated Socrates's way of dying,[...] sanctioned by Pope's Catholic mentor, Erasmus,and acknowledged by all his friends [...] Pope's act of dying fit in the line of past and contemporary moral, philosophical and religious considerations
""Like Socrates": Pope's Art of Dying". Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 20(3), 407-429.
[...] 18th century Autobiography: Brownell, Morris, Socrates”: Pope's Art of Dying”. Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 407-429. Morris Brownell explained the nature and significance of Alexander Pope's death in order to exemplify the 18th century art of dying. All in all, Brownell exposed that Pope imitated Socrates's way of dying, a manner which would have been sanctioned by Pope's Catholic mentor, Erasmus, and acknowledged by all his friends as Socrates was considered by Pope as an ecumenical model. Thus Pope's act of dying fit in the line of past and contemporary moral, philosophical and religious considerations. [...]
[...] Paradoxically to his authorship which may be associated with original creation in the collective unconscious, the way Pope authored his act of dying imitating Socrates's may lead to think of plagiarism and of devotion. Furthermore, this very same imitation may implicitly lead to the comparison between both authors' works and status; a means to achieve Socrates and his works' fame, timelessness and durability. Beyond forms of eternity, the art of dying concretely dealt with theatrical performance. This form of art allowed the dying/author to stage his death and control what would be said after his death as his visitors were his audience and potential biographers. [...]
[...] His artistic act of dying may also have represented a means to, on the one hand, simultaneously fusion and transcend his life, work and death and on the other hand, to achieve the immortality of the soul wherein he believed. One would compare the immortality of the soul to the durability of work. Isn't there a part of an author's soul in his work/art? Actually, Pope's art of dying was about consensus. He aimed at dying like Socrates whom he worshipped the premeditation, resignation and spirit of friendship in dying hence the ecumenism. [...]
[...] Thus, he virtually authored the end of his autobiography. In Pope's case, it also allowed him to gather his friends as he thought friendship was more saving than religion an additional parameter to assure him of going to Heaven and of achieving immorality. The theatrical art/death seemed to materialize Pope's poem An Essay on Criticism, published in 1711, in which he discussed whether poetry should be written according to inherited predetermined rules although he did not give his opinion. From this perspective, on the one hand, poetry and death would result from a natural and irrational law; and on the other hand, both would stem from rules necessary for criticism. [...]
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