Which of the following best states Pope’s opinion of the man in “An Essay on Man”?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In "An Essay on Man," Pope expresses his opinion that man is imperfect and limited in his understanding of the world. Pope believes that man's reason and knowledge are limited, and that man is unable to fully comprehend the complexities of the universe. Despite these limitations, Pope believes that man should still strive for knowledge and understanding, as this pursuit is what distinguishes humans from animals.
Detailed answer:

Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Man" is a philosophical poem that aims to justify God's ways to man. In the poem, Pope presents a hierarchical view of the universe, with God at the top and man at the bottom. Pope's opinion of man is that he is a limited being who cannot fully comprehend God's plan for the universe.

Pope argues that man's limited understanding of the world means that he cannot fully comprehend God's plan. He states, "What if the foot, ordained the dust to tread, / Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head? / What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd / To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?" (lines 217-220). Here, Pope suggests that man's desire to understand the universe is futile because he is not capable of comprehending it.

Pope also believes that man is imperfect and that he cannot understand the perfection of God. He writes, "Created half to rise and half to fall; / Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all" (lines 91-92). Pope argues that man is flawed and is subject to the same weaknesses as all other creatures. Therefore, man cannot claim to have a full understanding of God's plan.

In conclusion, Pope's opinion of man in "An Essay on Man" is that man is a limited, imperfect being who cannot fully comprehend God's plan. He believes that man's desire to understand the universe is futile and that man should instead accept his place in the universe and trust in God's plan.

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