Essay about The Role of Nature

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The Role of Nature

Considering the history of literature, the conception of Nature seems to be a quite complex question. 'Nature' is not a concept that can be grasped easily and it often requires discussing some great philosophical conceptions like 'Pantheism' or 'Deism'. However, my paper will not deal in detail with such vast enquiries. I rather want to focus more accurately on how 'Nature' is used by Pope and Coleridge, respectively. With other words, I would like to analyse the function of the concept of 'Nature'. The fact is, that even if these poets do not exhaustively characterise ‘Nature’ itself, they employ it in a lot of different analogies and metaphors to articulate and embody for example ideas about
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In contrast to Pope’s text, Coleridge emphasises the role of emotion and experience and he doesn’t seem to really accord great importance to reason. In this sense we will see that unsurprisingly Coleridge’s poetry raises typical Romantic topics.

Nature in Pope’s Essay on Man
An Essay on Man is a didactic and quasi-philosophical poem. Etalons for that genre can be found in antiquity, especially in Lucretius's De Rerum Natura (Nuttall Pope’s ‘Essay on Man’ 44). Lucretius's poem is an exposition of Epicurean philosophy and a vast speculation about natural phenomena and more fundamentally about the whole universe. Pope’s poem seems to have fairly the same far-reaching scope in its subject matter, but unlike Lucretius’s one, it is guided by a Christian faith. In addition, in the vein of Augustan poets, Pope’s ambition is to define some “general truths”; he wants to show the orderly and logical structure of the universe and the place of “Man” and “Nature” within it. The first Epistle on which I would like to focus is titled “The Nature and State of Man with respect to the universe”. Nature is thus a topic, but the question is: what exactly is the function of Nature in Pope’s work?

Epistle I is deliberately ordered, growing out of Pope's central premise that the world man inhabits might appear to be a “mighty maze” (I, 7), but it is not without “plan” (I, 7). As he

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