The Rape Of The Lock Essay

703 Words3 Pages
In a tradition of classic poetry, the opening of “The Rape of the Lock” institutes the most epic tone. The author begins by calling upon a muse; he keeps the muse anonymous, rather than appeal to one of the mythic Greek muses. In the first paragraph the author launch pope’s epic theme: a war arising the action of the poem starts with the sun rising, arousing the residents. Though everyone, including the lapdogs, has risen, Belinda remains asleep. She dreams of a handsome youth who informs her that she is protected by a “thousand bright inhabitants of air:” spirits that were once human women who now protect virgins. The dream is sent to Belinda by Ariel, “her guardian Sylph” (20). The Sylphs are Belinda’s guardians because they understand her vanity and pride, having been coquettes when they were humans. They are devoted to any woman who “rejects mankind” (68). Their role is to guide young women through the “mystic mazes” of social interaction (92). At the end of the dream, Ariel warns Belinda of an impending “dread event,” urging her to “Beware of all, but most beware of Man” (109, 114). Belinda is then awoken by her lapdog, Shock. Upon rising, she sees that a love-letter has arrived for her, causing her to forget the details of the dream. At this point in the poem, however, Pope describes Belinda as a influential figure, somewhat like the heroes of epic poetry. Belinda sets out by a boat to Hampton Court Palace. She is accompanied by a party of ladies and gentlemen, but is the most striking member of the group. Her two ringlets are described as love’s labyrinths, designed to entangle a man’s heart. The Baron decides to steal these locks. He builds an altar to pray for success. In this true mock-heroic poem, the gods lis... ... middle of paper ... ...rovide new and unexpected revelations. I found this poem very well written and enjoyable. Pope’s careful diction and use of the heroic couplet not only enhances the satire of the poem, but paints a striking picture of how Pope views the society that he lives in. Throughout the poem, it seems that he is half-admonishing, half-poking fun at Belinda and the Baron. In a good-natured way, he is trying to point out flaws. Pope uses messages throughout the poem to exaggerate the ordinary and the commonplace, making them extraordinary and spectacular. In so doing, he makes them seem as they really are, small and petty. Such an example is: “Sol through white Curtains shot a tim’rous Ray, And ope’d those Eyes that must eclipse the Day.” This literary device is also used, such as personification in the phrase “Love in these Labyrinths his Slaves detains.”
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