Essay on Man
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The Essay on Man is a philosophical poem, written, characteristically, in heroic couplets. Pope intended it as the centerpiece of a proposed system of ethics to be put forth in poetic form. It is an attempt to justify, as Milton had attempted to vindicate, the ways of God to Man, and a warning that man himself is not, as, in his pride, he seems to believe, the center of all things. Though not explicitly Christian, the Essay makes the implicit assumption that man is fallen and unregenerate, and that he must seek his own salvation.