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The Rape of The Lock Essay

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Looking back on past events can cause one to realize their insignificance. At one moment that event may seem as if it is the only thing that matters, and in the next it is trivial. If reality sets in, the event can pass, or a trivial grudge is held without end. In The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope makes light of such a situation. Using mock-epic poetry, Pope is able to use contrasting situations to show the insignificance of some events (Brown 4).
Alexander Pope writes The Rape of the Lock during the 18th century as science and reality are emerging. Self perception is changing, and imaginative potential is rising. Pope writes to add humor to situations and shift the minds of readers (Koehler 66,67). No longer must there be a focus on striking matters, but instead writers can bring attention to humorous and trivial issues. Contrasting ideas emerge, and humorous arrangements can test traditional collections (Koehler 68). Using the story of two quarreling individuals, Pope brings grand emphasis to inconsiderable affairs.
Traditionally, an epic is a grand and elaborate story of a hero and their travels. The obvious hero travels over long geographic distances, and may possibly visit the underworld. Celestial transitions are common, as well as long and elaborate speeches by the characters. The hero in an epic undergoes a battle, after intricate descriptions of their preparations, and the result is a clear outcome. Masculinity is evident in epic poems taking on themes of grant events, elevated situations, courage, importance, and strength; but the same cannot be said for a mock-epic.
As a mock-epic, The Rape of the Lock, satirizes typical epic poetry form while still following its basic guidelines. While Pope ...


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...d speaks to them of the great importance their protection will serve to Belinda. They are to keep her pure and safe from the danger that lies ahead.
As Belinda reaches the party, she steps into her ‘battle’: a game of Ombre with the Baron and another man. Belinda starts off her card game with pride and sureness of victory. As she lets her guard down the tables turn quickly. Pope sets up the intensity of the battle as Belinda is at risk of losing, and then receives aid from her sylphs once again to be victorious. Customarily, in an epic, the winning of a battle is celebrated, just as Belinda’s victorious card game yields a feast. It is at this feast, upon seeing a steaming cup of coffee; the Baron remembers his goals of obtaining Belinda’s locks. Clarissa, who is also attending the party, reaches into her bag and supplies the Baron with his weapon: scissors.



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