Irony In Alexander Pope's Epistle

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IRONY IN POPE’S EPISTLES
Irony as a literary tool was utilized to its full potential by one of the most celebrated poet and satirist of the eighteenth century, Alexander Pope. He choosed irony as the prime instrument for his satiric hit as he found irony to be a more delighting and amusing medium. Pope’s ironic ability in writing was well reflected in his verse satires, and his famous epistles. In his works, by means of his humor and wit, Pope satirized the follies and foibles in men and in the aristocratic society of his time quite vividly. As an eighteenth century writer, he realized that it was his responsibility to impart to the society of his time, his well thought ideals, manners, beliefs
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The very beginning lines of the epistle are ironic as it opens on a note of familiarity reflected by the ‘you’ accompanied by a witty remark. “Nothing so true as what you once let fall, Most women have no Characters at all." The ironic tone of the speaker is again reflected in his attitude of being in awe, as he seems astounded by the conduct of certain fictitious women. This ironic attitude gets reflected in the statement- “Say, what can cause such impotence of mind? A spark too fickle, or a Spouse too kind.”
Moreover, as following the Horation tradition, Pope presents a series of portraits of women beginning with the vicious ones to the noble ones. Irony is intended when grandeur of language and expression is employed to depict the so called vicious portraits as in- “Come then, the colors and the ground prepare! Dip in the Rainbow; trick her off in Air, Chuse a firm Cloud, before it fall, and in it Catch, ere her change, the Cynthia of this
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