Pope's edits and explanatory notes were notoriously capricious (impulsive and not scholarly).
His edition was attacked by Lewis Theobald in Shakespeare Restored (1726), a work that revealed a superior knowledge of editorial technique.
Theobald was the prime dunce, and the next year the poem was enlarged by a burlesque (broad comedy) on commentators and textual critics.
Clearly Pope used Dunciad as personal satire to pay off many old scores.
The English poet Alexander Pope is regarded as one of the finest poets and satirists (people who use wit or sarcasm to point out and devalue sin or silliness) of the Augustan (mid-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century English literature) period and one of the major influences on English literature in this time and after.
Alexander Pope was born on May 21, 1688, in London, England, to Alexander and Edith Pope. His family moved out of London and settled in Binfield in Windsor Forest around 1700. He educated himself through extensive studying and reading, especially poetry.John Bolingbroke, who had settled a few miles from Twickenham, stimulated his interest in philosophy and led to the composition of An Essay on Man.Some ideas expressed in it were probably suggested by Bolingbroke.Several other poems were published by 1717, the date of the first collected edition of Pope's works.) that were his greatest achievement as a translator.This upset Pope, who then made Theobald the original hero of Dunciad.In 17 the writer Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) was in England and a guest of Pope. Renewed contact with Swift must have given a driving force to Pope's poem on "Dulness," which appeared as the three-book Dunciad (1728).But it was also prompted by his distaste for that whole process by which worthless writers gained undeserved literary prominence (fame).The parody (comic imitation) of the classical epic (heroic poem) was accompanied by further mock-heroic elements, including the intervention of a goddess, the epic games of the second book, and the visit to the underworld and the vision of future "glories." Indeed, despite its devastating satire, Dunciad was essentially a phantasmagoric (created by the imagination) treatment by a great comic genius.The next year Pope's father died, and in 1719 the poet's increased wealth enabled him to move with his mother to Twickenham.From 1725 to 1726 Pope was engaged in a version of Odyssey.