The poem “The Rape of the Lock”, which was written by Alexander Pope is a mock-epic poem. Right at the beginning of the poem, the poet has identified it as a “heroi-comical poem”. These types of poems basically are a mockery of humans and the society in which they live.
In the poem under consideration, the poet has depicted petty humans as well as trivial matters as extremely extraordinary. Exaggeration plays a great role in the poem and it is a mockery of the materialistic society.
The Rape of the Lock revolves around Belinda, whose guardian sylph warns her of disaster but she ignores it and gets ready to go for a party. At the party, there is a man called Baron, who has decided to cut off a lock of Belinda’s hair. The people at the party enjoy a game of cards, which has been defined by the poet as a battle. Eventually, Baron takes away a lock of Belinda’s hair, which infuriates her and here begins a scuffle between the ladies and the gentlemen in which Belinda tries retrieving her lock of hair, but it is lost (The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope, p.1). In the words of Belinda, “For ever curs’d be this detested Day, Which snatch’d my best, my fav’rite Curl away!”
Characters of heroic poetry are used to censure 18th century civilization in its letdown to go up to heroic standards. By relating unimportant events in gallant terms, he depicts and ridicules the stinginess of the characters concerned. In particular, he scorns the mannerism and arrogance of 18th century women. The cutting of the hair was taken so seriously that it caused trouble between families who were friends since a very long time (An analysis of Alexander Pope’s depiction of women in “the Rape of the Lock”, p.1 and The Rape of the Lock: A Study Guide, p.1).
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