This consists of four epistol, or messages, a poetic treatise in which the Alexander Pope outlined his philosophical Outlook, were published in separate installments from February 1733 and January 1734 the First three Epistles were published respectively in February, March and may 1733, and the fourth appeared in January 1734
In the “essay on man” Pope acts as a supporter and promoter of the ideology of the age of Enlightenment. A person’s position in the world and in society, the balance of passion and reason, good and evil, selfishness and the public good, the idea of the destiny of man and his happiness – all these metaphysical, social and ethical issues stood in the center of the educational philosophy of the XVIII century and vividly discussed, not only in England.
“Essay on man” which paints a picture of harmony and perfection of the universe, which ultimately resolved all of its visible conflicts and dissonances that were sort of poetic equivalent of “the Moralists,” Shaftesbury and the “Theodicy” by Leibniz. It in an accessible and attractive way the poet expressed one of the major ideological concepts of the early European Enlightenment and thus introduced a generation of readers to the ideological issues and debates of his era.
Published poem has drawn criticism from the adherents of the purity of the Christian faith. The Pope was accused of commitment to deism, and not without reason, for the divine world order, which he paints in the poem, of course, is the order deistic God. In terms of the dominant theistic worldview Pope popularized the views that adhere to the most advanced philosophers and scientists of his time. Epistles addressed to Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke (1678-1751), the famous English political leader, thinker and writer with whom the poet was associated long-term friendship.