Alexander Pope, Messiah

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Pat Rogers (University of South Florida)

Messiah is the most important among the small number of directly religious poems that Alexander Pope wrote, and the closest he came to a major devotional work. Its latest editors describe the work as “a Christian super-eclogue, based on Virgil’s “prophetic” fourth eclogue spliced with, and eventually eclipsed by, the prophecy of Messiah’s coming in the book of Isaiah” (Ferraro and Baines, 331). In some ways it resembles pastoral with Old Testament roots.

The first publication came in the Spectator on 14 May 1712, with a brief introduction by Richard Steele, as the work of a friend (as Pope then was), “who is not ashamed to employ his Wit in the Praise of his Maker”…

1273 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "Messiah". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 April 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40507, accessed 07 February 2023.]

40507 Messiah 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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