This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Belinda Placing Blame In Alexander Pope's The Rape Of The Lock

1488 words - 6 pages

Belinda Placing Blame in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock

I will be examining lines 147-160 of Canto IV in The Rape of the Lock. In this selection, Belinda speaks in a monologue, apparently regretting past actions that have caused her the loss of her lock. However, it becomes clear that she is exaggerating her loss and the preventive measures she could have taken. By citing radical changes that would have been necessary to prevent the occurrence, she makes it clear that it is very difficult for a woman to escape men. In this manner, she is able to lay most of the blame for the rape of the lock on the nature of men rather than her own vain lifestyle. During her exaggerated monologue, Belinda will refer to events earlier in the poem, from her social life at Hampton Court, to the opulent life she has lived, as root causes of her misfortune. All the while though, the undercurrent of the passage will convey the feeling that it is mainly the fault of men since a woman can only do so much to protect herself.

For ever curs'd be this detested Day,
Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite Curl away!
Happy! Ah ten times happy, had I been,
If Hampton-Court these Eyes had never seen!
Yet am not I the first mistaken Maid,
By Love of Courts to num'rous Ills betray'd.
Oh had I rather unadmir'd remain'd
In some long Isle, or distant Northern Land;
Where the gilt Chariot never marks the Way,
Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea!
There kept my Charms conceal'd from mortal Eye,
Like Roses that in Desarts bloom and die.
What mov'd my Mind with youthful Lords to rome?
Oh had I stay'd, and said my Pray'rs at home! (Pope IV. 147-160)


In lines 147-148, she curses this "detested" day on which her lock was "snatch'd" from her. These words imply a very strong feeling for the lost lock and towards the person who took it. For her, the entire day was a terrible day that will live in infamy forever. In lines 149-150 she says that she would be ten times happier now if she had never even seen Hampton Court. These first four lines introduce the mood of the passage, with Belinda implying that she regrets having lived life the way she has. By saying "Hampton-Court these Eyes had never seen!" (Pope IV. 150) she implies regret at having spent time at Hampton-Court and her actions there. This lock may symbolize her virginity, which indeed was of great pride and value to women of the day. Had she known that this opulent lifestyle would lead to the loss of her lock, or metaphorically, the loss of her virginity through rape, she may have lived a more modest life.

In lines 150-151 Belinda is no longer solely blaming herself as she goes on to suggest that she is not completely at fault for what has transpired. She makes the observation that she is not in any way the first woman to have ever made the mistake of trusting men. Many other young virgin women before her have also been lured by the love of the courts, popularity, and the...

Find Another Essay On Belinda Placing Blame in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock

Belinda's Duality in Pope's Rape of the Lock

1342 words - 6 pages According to Francois De La Rochefoucauld, “Virtue would go far if vanity did not keep it company.” In Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope uses the epic form to satirize 18th century English high society. The protagonist, Belinda, represents women within her society through her focus on both beauty and piety. Rape of the Lock provides insight into the duality of beauty and chastity, and the struggle for women to encompass both ideals. These ideals

Discuss Alexander Pope's 'The Rape Of The Lock' as a 'Mock Heroic Poem'

2447 words - 10 pages certain female types in their previous mortal existence, Pope integrates them into the social world. Here Belinda (Fermor) is warned by a Sylph named Ariel, of women's frailty and the danger presented by men: 'Beware of all, but most beware of man!' (14). At the end of the canto Belinda finally wakes up and prepares herself for the day - like an epic hero arming for battle - she applies her warpaint. This also shows that The Rape of the Lock is a

Discuss Alexander Pope's 'The Rape Of The Lock' as a 'Mock Heroic Poem'

7146 words - 29 pages Name of Religion Donne wasn't afraid to use sexual themes, language, and imagery to make a spiritual point...or vice-versa. He seemed to think that the erotic life had an almost mystical power to unite people, or to unite people with God. In some of Donne's most famous religious poems, like the "Holy Sonnets," he asks God to treat him like a lover and even to "ravish," or rape, him. "The Flea," on the other hand, is more of a love poem, but the

Mock-heroic features of Pope's "The Rape of the Lock"

650 words - 3 pages with an invocation in first stanza, that fits the style appropriately.Supernatural Activities: Being an epic, The Rape of the Lock is presented with supernatural activities. As an epic feature, an explicit difference between heaven and hell is shown in this poem. Belinda plays the role of a divine ore from the celestial chastity of sylphs. In other hand, Baron is the spokesman of gnomes like Milton's 'Satan'.Pope's The Rape of the Lock, a tribute

Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

817 words - 3 pages Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock is not studied and admired only because of its style and form, but also for its base content and underlying themes. Pope's ability to manipulate text into mock-heroic form, constructing a flow of satirical description is what makes this poem one of such quality. The piece was first published in 1712 by the request of Pope's friend, John Caryll. It was to make peace

Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" is an outstanding example of the neoclassic genre of mock epic

652 words - 3 pages Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock is an outstanding example of the neoclassic genre of mock epic. Pope uses the mock epic to satirize the triviality of18th-century high society through exaggeration and parody. Basing his poem on an actual incident that occurred among some of his acquaintances, Pope intended his story to put the episode into humorous perspective and encourage his friends to laugh at their own actions.A mock epic is a poem

Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" is an outstanding example of the neoclassic genre of mock epic

2166 words - 9 pages What is Poetry?What is poetry?For thousands of years human beings have been creating, thinking and writing their thoughts in the form of poetry. Why do people write poetry and why do we study poetry?The answer is that we are alive. To be alive is to be full of emotions, opinions, hopes, dreams and fears. To be human is to have the desire to express one's self in any form we can find. Poems are expressions of what is inside each of us. We all

Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" is an outstanding example of the neoclassic genre of mock epic

2166 words - 9 pages What is Poetry?What is poetry?For thousands of years human beings have been creating, thinking and writing their thoughts in the form of poetry. Why do people write poetry and why do we study poetry?The answer is that we are alive. To be alive is to be full of emotions, opinions, hopes, dreams and fears. To be human is to have the desire to express one's self in any form we can find. Poems are expressions of what is inside each of us. We all

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

2251 words - 9 pages The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope It all began in the year 1712 when the infamous Lord Robert Petre cut a lock of hair un- knowingly from the head of his beloved Arabella Fermor, setting off a chain of events that would soon lead Alexander Pope to write one of his most famous poems, The Rape of the Lock. Pope’s main purpose was to “laugh the two [lovers] together” and solve the social crisis that had resulted; however

The Rape of The Lock, by Alexander Pope

2601 words - 10 pages The Rape of the Lock, written by Alexander Pope, is a mock-epic with a serious purpose. This narrative was written to diffuse a real life quarrel between two high-class families in 18th century England; the Petres and the Fermors (Gurr, 5). The character’s names were changed but their characteristics hold true; simply put, Belinda, young and beautiful, had a lock of her hair cut off by the Baron and this thus causes a feud amongst the two

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

1360 words - 5 pages Social Satire in Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” Alexander Pope’s distinct use of satire and mockery make this parody of Ulysses’ “The Iliad”, more socially dramatic and induces much rhetoric. Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” shows many interesting characteristics and can easily be understood in the terms of early English literature. Through close supervision and examination of “The Iliad”, one can see the similarities and some of different plot

Similar Essays

Alexander Pope's The Rape Of The Lock

1672 words - 7 pages Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock is a satirical poem that features a theme of gender roles. Throughout the poem, Pope uses his protagonist Belinda, to poke fun at the superficial nature of aristocratic women. He focuses on the ritual of womanhood and approaches it like a trivial matter, and her reaction to the offence is hysterical. Through this portrayal, he reveals that the Baron has a childish quality in his need for revenge for

Alexander Pope's Epic Rape Of The Lock

1847 words - 8 pages Alexander Pope’s epic Rape of the Lock, is essentially a lampoon of traditional epic literature. It is teeming with comparisons between the main character Belinda’s actions, and Homer’s Achilles, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Greek mythology in general. Her character’s image is painted as vain and unconcerned with consequential matters, unlike that of Achilles’ character from Homer’s Iliad; however he was full of wrath and pride resembling that of

The Scale Of Values In Alexander Pope's Poem The Rape Of The Lock

1358 words - 5 pages The Scale of Values in Alexander Pope's Poem The Rape of the Lock I found Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" a delightful, amusing poem. Throughout the poem, trivialities are compared with events and objects or consequence and the insignificant is treated with utmost importance. Its very title gives the reader an immediate clue; "rape" and all its connotations bring to mind a heinous crime of physical and spiritual violation. Perhaps

The Duality Of Belinda In Pope’s Rape Of The Lock

811 words - 3 pages In Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope uses the epic form to satirize 18th century English society. The mock epic’s protagonist, Belinda, portrays a duality of women as both materialistic and chaste beings. This duality, dictated by society, shows contradictory values. Belinda’s duality illustrates itself best in the toilette scene at the end of Canto I. In this scene, she functions as an epic hero readying for battle, yet she merely gets ready