“At whom was Alexander Pope’s poem The Dunciad (1728) aimed? Published in several versions from 1728 and 1743, the mock-epic poem satirized bad writing and attacked critics of Pope’s poetry. In the final version, the king of the dunces is Colley Cibber, England’s poet-laureate from 1730 to 1757. Other targets of Pope’s venom were dramatists Nahum Tate and Lewis Theobald.”
Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.