Pope's <i>Iliad</i>: the ‘Hurry of Passion’

Matthew Reynolds

in The Poetry of Translation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605712
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731617 | DOI:
Pope's Iliad: the ‘Hurry of Passion’

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Pope, too, was swept away by a text he was translating: not a romance, but the Iliad. The passion that affected him was primarily heroic rather than amorous, and is figured (after Boileau's translation of Longinus (1674)) as the spreading of sublime ‘fire’. This metaphor of translation is evident in particular stylistic features such as the ‘super‐adding’ of similes; as we have come to expect it grows in complexity when Pope is translating moments in the source when warriors give fiery inspiration to one another. For Pope, the massacres of the Iliad find a miniature echo in his own self‐abnegation when he translates.

Keywords: Pope; Homer; Boileau; sublime; fire; passion; simile

Chapter.  6897 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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