Approaches to Teaching Pope’s Poetry

  • Editors: Wallace Jackson, R. Paul Yoder
  • Pages: xi & 207 pp.
  • Published: 1993
  • ISBN: 9780873527156 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873527163 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Pope's Poetry Cover

“These are solid essays which make use of past scholarship, personal experience, and a few new literary approaches. . . .  Essentially, the book offers a compendium of what competent and conscientious teachers might hope their students would absorb or master.”


“I have already stolen from Donna Landry’s hints for teaching The Rape of the Lock and Epistle to a Lady in conjunction with Swift, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and Ann Yearsley; from Brian McCrea on An Essay on Man and ‘nature’ in advertising; from Howard Weinbrot on putting the Arbuthnot back in Arbuthnot, both contextually and dialogically; and I am planning other larcenies.”

Studies in English Literature

Pope’s poetry, the editors of this collection suggest, “provides . . . an index to social criticism, to enlightened religious belief, to witty and vivacious writing, and to the bearing of much of the Western literary tradition on the eighteenth-century mind.” Approaches to Teaching Pope’s Poetry strives to make Pope’s genius and versatility shine in the classroom.

Like other books in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this one is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” features a survey of useful reference materials as well as recommendations on available editions and anthologies. The essays in the second part, “Approaches,” discuss Pope’s wit and use of satire, his debt to Horace, and his relationship with the Scriblerians; present Pope’s poetry alongside verse and parodies by his contemporaries; and share strategies for teaching individual poems in a variety of courses. Several essays discuss Pope’s influence on the English Romantics, especially Byron and Wordsworth.