The Rape of the Lock

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  • Topic: Hair, Lock of hair, Sikha
  • Pages : 2 (627 words )
  • Download(s) : 66
  • Published : January 22, 2013
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The rape of the lock
The Rape of the Lock is an outstanding mock- epic in the English Literature written by Alexander Pope. It is considered a humorous poem, as well as a combination of the classical models of epic and satire. Since the poem is based on an actual incident among Pope’s acquaintances, he is persuaded to write the story to mock his friends so they do not take the situation too seriously. Besides, the author focuses on the upper class in London, which seems to have lost the value of important matters. First of all, it can be said that the upper-class characters portrayed in The Rape of the Lock, especially Belinda, are mocked because it seems that they are narrow-minded as regards their ideas about the society where they live and they do not take into consideration important subjects. In the poem, Belinda is so concerned about her beauty that when the Baron cuts a lock of her hair she gets furious: “Then flashed the living lightnings from her eyes, / And screams of horror rend the affrighted skies.”(canto 3, lines 155-156). Belinda feels frustrated not only because she is humiliated in public, but also because being beautiful in that society means power. Her anger can be related to the fact that ladies used to devote much time to their beauty, spending hours at the dressing table; the “altar’s site,”(1.127). Apart from that, dancing and playing cards were major events to win the heart of a gentleman. Similarly, men had no concern with significant matters either as they were interested in being powerful, getting more money and flirting with ladies. The Baron, for example, the male character in the poem, feels victorious when he cuts Belinda’s lock: “`Let wreaths of triumph now my temples twine,´ / (The victor cried); `the glorious prize is mine!”(3.161-162).

As the characters focus on trivial matters as if they are truly meaningful, their flaws and weaknesses are exposed in the poem. By means of exaggeration, the author pretends to make the...
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