“Sound and Sense” By: Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope’s “Sound and Sense” explains true poetry stems from the use of both meter and diction to reinforce the meaning and theme of the poem. Pope demonstrates his point of view by meticulously creating loud and soft phonetics to echo the sense of the poem and evoke realistic imagery.
Alexander Pope explains in “Sound and Sense” that “The sound must seen an echo to the sense”, this advice is reflected in lines 9-12. “When Ajax strives some rocks vast weight to throw” describes a sense of Ajax’s powerful and athletic composition. The 10 syllable line displays the strength in iambic pentameter which reflects Ajax’s balanced poise. The hard vowel sounds in the line “Ajax”, “weight”, “strives” and “throw” alludes to vigor and force. These words characterize the bruteness of Ajax, a Greek warrior, who is glamorized for his powerful physique. Pope’s use of sound to create sense gives evidence of his advice.
Pope’s utilization of rough phonetics is juxapostioned against his use of soft sounds to describe Camilla. Camilla, a legendary queen renowned for her swiftness of feet, is reflected through the implementation of soft sounds and limited punctuation in these lines “when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o’er the unbending corn, and skims the main.” Words such as “swift” and “skim” evoke smooth, light and quick movements. The audience fluently reads over the lines, reflecting the athletic grace of Camilla. Pope’s purposeful diction indicates a transition in the imagery from hard to soft. Therefore, the reader can observe that Pope follows his advice.
Alexander Pope’s “Sound and Sense” is written with intricate detail challenging his fellow colleagues to expand their poetic techniques. Each word and punctuation is meant to evoke an emotional sense into the reader, creating deeper symbolism in the poem. Sound is essential in the interpretation of theme in the poem. Pope illustrates his point of view by...
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