Alexander Pope, An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot

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An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot

is Pope's

Apologia pro sua Satura

, or “Defence of his Satire”. All previous masters of formal verse satire, including Horace and Juvenal, had written at least one poem in which they explained why they felt it necessary to attack the persons and objects they did, in the way they did. Thus, when Pope's friend and fellow Scriblerian, John Arbuthnot, wrote to him when the former was seriously ill, in July 1734, making it his “Last Request that you continue that noble Disdain and Abhorrence of Vice, which you seem naturally endu'd with, but still with a due regard for your own safety”, Pope seems to have felt that the time had come for him to publish such a poem.

Pope tells the reader in a prefatory “Advertisement” that the particular occasion which

1986 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001 [, accessed 21 May 2024.]

6677 An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot 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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