The Rape of the Lock as a Mock-Heroic Poem

Topics: Social class, Working class, Social groups Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: January 15, 2012
According to Childs and Fowler, (2006:144) in heroic epic, things that are not ordinary and things that are trivial can exist together and be a part of each other. But in mock-epic the author puts less emphasis on concern in broad discourse, the slowly developing balance of epic narration bonds with the awareness of individual satire. As far as mock-epic is concerned, within the plot the representatives of the ritualistic become given to bouts of ill temper, poise and self-respect transforms into vanity and the state of being esteemed is disguised yet visible and known. Mock-epic makes a parody of whole social classes hence their negative experience of certain lack of maturity, which derives from the feeling of false self-fulfilment which strongly connects with social groups narrowly restricted and provincial in perceiving the world. The people portrayed in a such work of art do not seem to be magnified because of confronting denial of their desires. Particular events involving those characters are characterized by comfort and capability of a game and the divinity, as opposed to ancient principles, cooperates with humans, sometimes being even placed lower than them. “Mock-epic is a developed form not so much of sarcasm as of euphemism: it has a paradoxical willingness to ‘extract from contemporary life its epic dimension, showing us… how grand and poetic we are in are cravats and highly polished boots’ (Baudelaire).” (Childs and Fowler 2006: 144). The Rape of the Lock is an example of an evolved form of a mock-heroic epic. As Broich says (1990: 113), in comparison to works of Boilaeu, Garth, or Crowne it has developed its own distinctive style in the aspect of combining the two major elementary genres. Pope’s success in merging the epic and the social comedy led to achieve certain originality that cannot be mistaken with works of any other author. As for the social comedy influences, Pope’s poem differs from the previous of its genre in a couple of fundamental...
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