Anarchy--to negate a word deriving from the Greek not just for rule, but command, empire, and beginning--becomes in this alternative tradition a chaos identified with entropy and dulness.
An umbrella of dulness is marked like a blast zone, in language reminiscent of the milder forms of curse seen in Wordsworth poems such as "Hart-Leap Well.
But the power of Pope's final curtain lies in its element of unrelenting allegory, and in that fanciful context the fiat and antifiat of his Dulness play themselves out.
In an additional, concentrically enlarging effect, Shelley's metaphors in Peter Bell the Third take seriously what Pope calls the "Empire" of chaos and dulness.
In the modest compass of this 'Guide' no attempt has been made to embody the minute first-to-the-right-and-second-to-the left detail of the German 'Baedeker,' or the historical amplitude of the insular 'Murray,' or the Scotch dulness
of the blue-bond 'Black.
Almost four decades later in 1889 Lowell referred to 'the dulness
of the average English mind.
2] While structurally Bedlam is held in place as a topographical indicator, located within a series of relative clauses on the way to where Dulness is found 'in clouded Majesty' (I, 45), and on the way, therefore, to the enthronement of Cibber himself as hero of the poem, nevertheless Bedlam's significance as the true home of Dulness and as giving birth to the chains of insanity-driven images that cross and recross the poem, is proudly and resonantly asserted.
Pope is still on his way to the 'Cave', and to where Dulness 'shone' in 'clouded majesty' (I, 43), but this time it is to the enthronement of Theobald as hero, and Pope goes via the Tower.
Forrester was, dulness
was impossible, Niel believed.
We not only conceive some idea of what the other is experiencing, but in a weaker degree also feel something like it; for to conceive or imagine that we are feeling something "excites some degree of the same emotion, in proportion to the vivacity or dulness
of the conception.
If Pope in the Dunciad shows the literary dunces of his age establishing a kingdom ruled by Dulness, "coming," as the satirist says, "'in her Majesty, to destroy Order and Science, and to Substitute the Kingdom of the Dull upon earth," so also does Blake in The Book of Urizen show the scientific dunces of his age establishing a kingdom ruled by Urizen, coming in his majesty to destroy imaginative order and poetry, and to substitute the kingdom of unenlightened science upon earth.
New York: Anchor, 1965) 424-37, points out satiric elements in The Book of Urizen and especially the similarities between Urizen and Pope's Goddess of Dulness, and Harold Bloom in his commentary on the poem in Erdman's edition of Blake describes it as "primarily an intellectual satire" (906).
Consider Pope's rendition of the goddess of dulness
overlooking her works: