Analysis of the Poem, The Rape of the Lock
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In classic literature it is considered a sin to think too highly of yourself, having too much pride or vanity would lead to feelings of dislike by people of your class. The reason you would be disliked is because your peers will get annoyed with you. In “The Rape of the Lock,” by Alexander Pope, he takes that distaste and annoyance toward people to a whole new level. In this now classic new twist on epic poetry, it’s timeless characters can be anyone from any time period.
Pope’s version of epic poem is a very welcome twist to an old classic. He took the original traits of the poem and revamped it to become his own.
The Rape of the Lock is a poem in which things, not people, are the heroes. The diminution of the human, made ridiculous through stylistic aggrandizement, is integral to the poem's mock-heroic effect. Yet if these things "operate almost without human agency" so that people "become objects”(Crehan,2)
The reason this poem is so different and grabbed the attention of so many is because it took the plain old hero fighting battles to save a kingdom to having the hero being the outside force, the Sylphs, controlling the humans to do their biding and to teach everyone a lesson. Some aspects though are still kept the same like any other epic poem, the couplets and the beat of the rhyme scheme. It is much shorter then the epic poem “Beowulf,” but it still is written in the same way. Pope’s poem consists of five couplets in the new version that he published in 1717 when he added Carlissia’s good humor speech. (1136)
Vanity in the eightieth century was something seen a lot in women of the upper class, who believed that they were the most beautiful creatures that anyone would ever lay their eyes on. In this tale, that ...
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...f dead without her hair. I believe the Sylphs have gotten what they wanted.
I believe that along with vanity the theme of this poem is that the beauty on the outside is not everything. It is the beauty within that really matters. I believe this is true because once the Baron saw inside her heart, he was able to find the strength to make her, his. He could see that deep down she wanted to be loved on the inside, she wanted someone to take her.
Alchin, L.K. Courtly Love. 16 November 2008. 27 Octuber 2010 .
Chrehan, A.S. "The Rape of the Lock and the Economy of "Trival Things"." Eighteenth-Century Studies 31.1 (1997): 2.
Pope, Alexander. "The Rape of the Lock." Noggle, Lawerence Lipking and James. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. A. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2006. 1136-1155.
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