The Rape of the Satire
In order to understand a satirical story one must first understand what the term “satire” means. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines satire as a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn. Alexander Pope uses satire as one of the main literary devices in his poem The Rape of the Lock to mock the mannerisms of the entire culture of libertinism (Rousseau 3). Even the title of the poem is satirical as Pope takes many different stabs at this culture in his work and hides them throughout the story of a young girl named, Belinda, and the “rape” of her “lock”. This narrative poem includes both literary devices of being epic and satiric and is referred to as a complex “mock-heroic” poem and is what was most interesting during that particular age in time (Jack 38). Pope uses his humorous wit to depict the 18th century of the English society and the many different ridiculous ideas and parts of culture that Pope sees happening among the society.
“Lock” or “Lock”? This question is one of the main satiric ideas that Pope presents alongside descriptive allusions in his poem. On one hand, a “lock” is simply referred to as a lock of hair in which is cut from Belinda’s hair in the story. The lock of hair is a symbol of her losing her beauty as she is portrayed as a goddess by Pope in the poem. This would be considered an imperfection in mythical times and would render her no longer beautiful. Pope mocks this idea and how vane the wealthy can be especially woman. According to Rousseau, “Pope wrote The Rape of Lock in heroic couplets because he wished to emphasize by strong contrast or opposition antithetic aspects of the truly “epic” world and Belinda’s pretentious world of petty social values.” On the other hand, the “lock” is symbolic of a lock in which requires a key to be opened. This symbol can be read into even deeper as being the lock to Belinda’s virginity in which is broken open when the Baron took it from her....
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