‘The Reason of this Preference’: Sleeping, Flowing and Freezing in Pope’s Dunciad
2010 Warton Lecture On English Poetry
This chapter presents the text of a lecture on Alexander Pope's literary satire Dunciad given at the British Academy's 2010 Warton Lecture on English Poetry. This text discusses the difficulty of Samuel Johnson in interpreting Pope's couplet in the Dunciad which depicts the Sea of Azov and the river that flows into it. It suggests that analysing the process through which Pope shaped this couplet can help provide a better understanding of the wider significance of the couplet's structure and Pope's work more generally.
Keywords: Alexander Pope, Dunciad, couplet, Samuel Johnson, lecture, British Academy
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