The rhetoric of art in the poetry of Alexander Pope



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Because of his intimate knowledge of painting techniques and the effects of those techniques. Pope was able to model poems according to generic painting types using multi-layered metaphors to compress his images. Through verbal and syntactic repetition coupled with patterns of sound he combined meter and rhetoric in his varied and flexible couplet structures to produce Augustan correctness. Uniting these individual couplets into larger increasingly integrated supracouplet systems Pope successfully employed the heroic couplet to define and discuss the issues of polite society. Pope enhanced the texture of his poetic imagery in couplets and paragraphs by utilizing painting techniques and applying painting types to convey a total desired pictorial effect. Pope's knowledge of classical. Renaissance, and baroque masters enabled him to reference their paintings or employ their techniques to convey the same types of visual images in his metaphors. Pope's classical scenes contain stasis, while his baroque descriptions are more suited to cosmic scenes with sweeping movement. The romantic scenes are primarily affective, exciting emotional Reaction, while rococo details suggest fancy unfettered by classicism. Close study of Pope’s poetry reveals his conscious application of painting techniques to his closed couplet verse structures and his fluid weaving of the techniques into metaphors and patterns of sound to produce superior examples of traditional verse forms.