Alexander Pope: The Poetry of Allusion

By Reuben A. Brower | Go to book overview
Save to active project

the whole translation. Epithets are dropped or made more vivid, repetitions suppressed or made more palatable by variation, and -- less often than is usually supposed -- 'low' expressions are passed over or given 'lustre' by being surrounded with more magnificent diction than in the original. Pope's comment on his success in copying one of Homer's finer metrical effects may serve as a statement of his larger aim as a translator:

It is not often that a Translator can do this Justice to Homer, but he
must be content to imitate these Graces and Proprieties at more dis-
tance, by endeavouring at something parallel, tho' not the same.
(XIII, n. XXXIX v. 721)

If we read Pope's Iliad in the context of contemporary theory and of the heroic tradition as it was renewed in the liveliest of his predecessors from Virgil to Dryden, and if we compare the result with our own best reading of the original, we may accept Pope's phrase as a just estimate of his achievement: 'Something parallel, tho' not the same'.


APPENDIX TO CHAPTER IV

But Sarpedon, when he saw his free-girt companions going

down underneath the hands of Menoitios' son Patroklos, 420
called aloud in entreaty upon the godlike Lykians: 'Shame, you Lykians, where are you running to? You must be fierce now, for I myself will encounter this man, so I may find out who this is who has so much strength and has done so much evil
to the Trojans, since many and brave are those whose knees he 425
has unstrung.'

He spoke, and sprang to the ground in all his arms from the chariot, and on the other side Patroklos when he saw him leapt down from his chariot. They as two hook-clawed beak-bent vultures above a tall rock face, high-screaming, go for each other,

so now these two, crying aloud, encountered together. 430
And watching them the son of devious-devising Kronos was pitiful, and spoke to Hera, his wife and his sister: 'Ah me, that it is destined that the dearest of men, Sarpedon, must go down under the hands of Menoitios' son Patroklos.
The heart in my breast is balanced between two ways as I ponder, 435

-135-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Alexander Pope: The Poetry of Allusion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 368

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?