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Sound and Sense

Sound and Sense


by Alexander Pope

Sound and Sense Analysis

Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Pope wrote in rhymed heroic couplets. This is an understatement. He was considered the master of all time of all universes of the heroic couplet. Um, what is a heroic couplet, you ask? It's a coupl...


The speaker definitely has a bit of an ego. He's out to teach us what makes a good poem, and he doesn't mind showing off a bit along the way. Unlike most dudes who go around showing off how cool t...


Despite all of the references to water, this poem doesn't really have a concrete setting. Basically, with this poem you've been dropped into a scene and then someone keeps explaining what's happeni...

Sound Check

Because this poem is about the use of sound in poetry, sound is important in every line. But, stepping back for a moment, what does the poem sound like as a whole? To us it sounds like a fun game o...

What's Up With the Title?

The title "Sound and Sense" pretty much summarizes the main topic of the poem. Check out our "Line-by-Line Summary" for lots of examples of how the sound of the poem echoes it's meaning ("sense")....

Calling Card

Pope has long been hailed the king of the heroic couplet. If you see a smoothly written couplet, especially with a touch of wit or a classical reference, you are probably reading Pope. (If you wan...


The good news is that "Sound and Sense" is short, and the rhyme makes it fun to read even if you're not always sure what it means. Depending on your tolerance for classical references and your leve...


From the portrait Pope had done, his hunchback is hidden. In light of the fact that he thought a lot about the relation between form and content, we wonder what he thought about his form in relat...

Steaminess Rating

Nothing here you wouldn't find in a Disney movie.


Ajax, from Homer's Iliad (lines 9-10)Camilla, from Virgil's Aeneid (lines 11-12)Timotheus, a Greek poet (line 13)

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