1. At the very beginning of "An Essay on Criticism", Pope writes, "'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill / Appear in writing or in judging ill"; thus he begins his thorough exploration of the principles judges should use to determine the quality of good writing. Not surpisingly, he decides the bad literary critic is guilty of the greater crime against people, having misled their understanding. He points out that what the critic presents as fact is truly only his opinion--and everyone's got one of those. Pope writes, "'Tis with our judgments as our _________, none / Go just alike, yet each believes his own" (lines 9-10). Which of the following words goes in the blank? (If you don't know, try each word and think about which makes the most sense).
2. In "An Essay on Criticism", Pope praises Virgil because he modeled his "Aeneid" on the works of an earlier significant writer. Pope writes, "Nature and ________ were, he [Virgil] found, the same" (line 135). Which ancient author of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" goes in this blank?
3. In "An Essay on Criticism" Pope refers to "pride, the never-failing vice of fools" (line 204). He blames it for most of the error and bias of which writers and critics are guilty. Because of pride's part in human nature, a critic cannot trust himself to be honest with himself about his own faults. Pope writes, "Trust not yourself: but your defects to know, / Make use of every friend--and __________" (lines 213-14). Which of the following groups of words goes in this blank?
let them show
try to grow
trust they know
4. One of the most famous couplets from Pope's "An Essay on Criticism" is the following: "A little learning is a dangerous thing; / drink deep, or taste not the Pierian ________" (lines 215-16). What word goes in this blank?
5. Later, in Part 2 of "An Essay on Criticism", Pope makes an argument to support brevity. He writes, "Words are like _______; and where they most abound, / Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found" (309-10). Think about something that often blankets a forest floor; then, determine what needs to be in the blank here.
6. Earlier in Part 2 of "An Essay on Criticism", Alexander Pope insists that readers and critics should judge a composition as a complete work, not criticize the composition's pieces separate from one another: "A perfect judge will read each work of wit / With the same spirit that its author writ: / Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find" (lines 233-35). After all, we do not judge a woman's attractiveness by only one part of her body. Pope explains, "'Tis not a lip, or eye, we _______ call, / But the joint force and full result of all" (lines 245-46). What word below completes this quotation?
7. Later in "An Essay on Criticism", Pope attacks critics' wishy-washiness and hypocrisy, or perhaps their fear to commit to truth. He writes, "Some praise at morning what they blame at night, / But always think the last opinion ______" (lines 430-431). Which word below completes this quotation?
8. Alexander Pope reminds us in his "Essay on Criticism" that each generation adds something to the pursuit of truth and that we should again embrace humility before judging one another. He writes, "We think our ________ fools, so wise we grow; / Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so" (lines 438-39). Which word below best completes this quotation?
9. Alexander Pope also encourages us to judge with courage and sincerity. When we read something that is true, beautiful, and good, we should stand up and say it is so. In "An Essay on Criticism", he writes, "Be thou the first true merit to _______; / His praise is lost who stays till all commend" (lines 474-75). What word below best completes this quotation?
10.. What poem was inspired by a man who secretly eloped with his pregnant pupil, only to be castrated at the command of her uncle?
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot
The Rape of the Lock
Eloisa to Abelard
11. Some of the most famous words of Pope's occur in "An Essay on Criticism" after he admonishes critics not "to let the man be lost!" within themselves (line 523). What word completes the following well-known quotation: "Good nature and good sense must ever join; / To err is human, to forgive ________" (lines 524-25)?