With the idea of allaying this, Pope treated the subject in a playful and witty mock-heroic epic.
The narrative poem brings into focus the onset of acquisitive individualism and conspicuous consumption, where purchased goods assume dominance over moral agency.
By now Pope's health was failing, and when told by his physician, on the morning of his death, that he was better, Pope replied: "Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms".
Alexander Pope was born in London, May 21st, 1688—the year of The Glorious Revolution.
Pope's formal education ended at this time, and from then on he mostly educated himself by reading the works of classical writers such as the satirists Horace and Juvenal, the epic poets Homer and Virgil, as well as English authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare and John Dryden.
He studied many languages and read works by English, French, Italian, Latin, and Greek poets.
He learned French, Italian, Latin, and Greek by himself and discovered Homer at six.
As a child, Pope survived being once trampled by a cow, but at the age of twelve began struggling with tuberculosis of the spine, or Potts' Disease, along with fits of crippling headaches which troubled him throughout his life.
He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry—to include The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism—as well as for his translation of Homer.
The critic John Dennis, having located an ironic and veiled portrait of himself, was outraged by what he considered the impudence of the younger author.
Dennis hated Pope for the rest of his life, and, save for a temporary reconciliation, dedicated his efforts to insulting him in print, to which Pope retaliated in kind, making him the butt of much satire.
In his career as a satirist, Pope made his share of enemies as the critics, politicians, and certain other prominent figures felt the sting of his sharpwitted satires.
Some were so virulent, that Pope even carried pistols at one point while walking his dog. He toyed with the idea of writing a patriotic epic called Brutus but ultimately decided against it, and only the opening lines survive.