at 16:7:29 3/17/98 from c550-7.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
|The poet of 'An Essay on Man" stated that we, human were lack of knowledge
of ourselves. Human did everything wrong in the natal. Human had desires
of knowledge and ability, but these caused mistakes and led to death.
'Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree of blindness, weakness, heaven bestows on thee.' We should notice and submit how weak and innocent we are. 'Submit- in this', 'Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, or in the natal. Or the mortal hour.' Fate control all the things and you should not do something against it. Fate would give us directions and we should submit that. Whatever it is, is good and right. If you are pride and get angry, there must be something wrong in your mind.
'Know then thyself, presume not God to scan', the ancient heroes were died because they did not know themselves and had desires that were far away for human to reach. They were challenging the nature, as this was against the law of fate, they deserved their own death.
Human did not really know who were they, so 'the proper study of mankind is Man'. Man was in a middle state of 'acting' and 'resting'. 'god' and 'beast'. They thought 'too little, or too much', 'still by himself abused, or disabused', 'with too much knowledge of the skeptic side, with too much weakness for the Stonic's pride.' Human's mind is complicated, full of strong will of desire, they always create troubles. 'Created half to rise, and half to fall', whatever they do is making mistake, and upset the 'order' of the world. Yet, we can use our sense to judge things reasonably. This would not control us by what we wanted.
The similar idea was expressed at 'Ode'. The cat ignored the dangerous circumstances to catch the fished cause it's death.
The fish bowl was just liked 'the lake' to the cat, but the ignorant cat still wanted to over-reach it's ability to catch the fishes. 'With many an ardent wish she stretched in vain to reach the prize', again she stretched, again she bent, nor knew the gulf between. She died as she tried to challenge herself and nature. Everything is arranged by fate, 'Malignant Fate sat by and smiled'. No one could help, 'no dolphin came, no Nereid stirred, nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard'.
The speaker used 'angle', 'nymph', 'presumptuous maid' to give us an image of womanhood. Since he tried to give warning to ladies who like beauty and were being controlled, it was also a warning for all mankinds: it is dangerous to reach beyond their abilities and not to make any wrong step against fate