But man falls short in each case; he is prey, in error, and a jest.
Those creatures or things higher on the Chain possessed greater intellect, movement, and ability than those placed below.
Chain of Being represented a distinct category of living creature or form of matter.
Great Chain of Being, also called Chain of Being, conception of the nature of the universe that had a pervasive influence on Western thought, particularly through the ancient Greek Neoplatonists and derivative philosophies during the European Renaissance and the 17th and early 18th centuries.
The term denotes three general features of the universe: plenitude, continuity, and gradation.
Consequently, they had Gods sanction to draw nutrients from the earth and grow upon it, while the minerals and soil existed to support plants.
Similarly, animals--a step higher on the Chain of Being--were thought to have authority over both inanimate plants and minerals.Alexander Pope's poem “An Essay on Man” was an expression of his philosophy of man's place in the universe.Pope called this philosophy the “Great Chain of Being,” and through it sought to examine man's place in this chain that had God at the top,inanimate objects at the bottom, and an imperfect man somewhere in between.Pope is critiquing the idea that mankind should be critical or judgmental of the God's creation. Alexander Pope's poem “An Essay on Man” was an expression of his philosophy of man's place in the universe.Pope is critiquing the idea that mankind should be critical or judgmental of the God's creation.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!Not only can man not be God, he cannot even hope to understand God.Pope begins by saying that that the purpose of his essay is to “vindicate the ways of God to man,” and poses an essential question: “Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, / And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee? Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions.Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.