‘Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen, yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.’ – Alexander Pope


Pope’s words are as fresh and relevant today as they ever were.

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) is regarded as one of the greatest English poets. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Homer. After Shakespeare, Pope is the second-most quoted writer in the English language, as per The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, some of his verses having even become popular idioms (e.g., Damning with faint praise).

Categories: English Literature, Quotation

1 reply

  1. A modern version of Pope’s observation on culture might be put thus:

    First we overlook evil. Then we permit evil. Then we legalize evil. Then we promote evil. Then we celebrate evil. Then we persecute those who still call it evil.

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