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The Poetry of TranslationFrom Chaucer & Petrarch to Homer & Logue$
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Matthew Reynolds

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605712.001.0001

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Pope's Iliad: a ‘comprehensive View’

Pope's Iliad: a ‘comprehensive View’

(p.188) (p.189) 20 Pope's Iliad: a ‘comprehensive View’
The Poetry of Translation

Matthew Reynolds

Oxford University Press

Pope also gave his allegiance to another metaphor, that of ‘taking a view’ of the Iliad so as to gain understanding of it. Emphasizing distance rather than immediacy, this metaphor contrasts with ‘translation as passion’. It is manifest in the prefatory matter and illustrations to Pope's translation, as well as the notes—or ‘Observations’—by which it is accompanied. But this mode of response also spreads into the translation itself, which expands perspectives already present in the Iliad (for instance in its similes) and often presents characters as ‘taking a view’ of themselves: comparison with Thomas Tickell's rival translation brings out the distinctiveness of Pope's work. The two contrasting metaphors—‘passion’ and ‘view’—flourish in different parts of the poem but come together in Pope's presentation of Achilles, the most inspiring warrior, and also the one who most needs to be viewed with the dispassion of the ‘View’.

Keywords:   Pope, Homer, Iliad, view, Tory, Whig, Tickell, landscape, Nestor, Achilles

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