Notes on the Rape of the Lock

Topics: The Rape of the Lock, Satire, Poetry Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: September 4, 2013
The rape of the lock – Lauren Schexnayder
7. In Canto III, line 86, Pope juxtaposes, or places side by side, dying husbands and dying lapdogs. What is this effect of juxtaposition? Find other surprising juxtapositions in the poem, and describe their effects.

The effect of the dying husbands to lapdogs juxtaposition is that husbands and lapdogs in regular conditions are compared to be equal, and husbands are then portrayed as followers of their wives, eating out of their hands and obeying every command. Juxtaposition is also found in line 91, where fish, birds, and carriages are compared for fulfilling their duties in a happy way: swimming fish, happy flying birds, carriages driving. Directly after that, in lines 93-4, “as long as Atalantis shall be read, or the small pillow grace a lady’s bed,” a book of scandal is being read and a pillow is in its place. Declaring scandal and neat rooms are combined to be regular things in their proper order.

8. How does the poem apply to contemporary life? What passages could serve as satirical commentaries on people’s behavior today?
The poem applies to contemporary life because the same petty quarrels happen today, with ridiculous feuds and foolish actions. From the very beginning, with the questioning of “What dire offense from amorous causes springs, What mighty contests rise from trivial things”, the satire can match behaviors today because there are quite a few trivial contests occurring. People are easily on edge, and it does not take much to push some people over.

9. Who, if anyone, is victorious at the end of the poem? How does the victor compare to the victor in a conventional epic? Belinda is victorious because she is preserved with high honor in the skies, “The muse shall consecrate to fame and midst the stars inscribe Belinda’s name (58-9).” The victor of this is different from that of the traditional epic because she is a woman who did not really have to have a great battle against a great monster!...
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