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Rape Of The Lock Essay

1746 words - 7 pages

ANALYSE THE RAPE OF THE LOCK AS A MOCK-EPIC.The Rape of the Lock is one of the several mock-epic poems in the period , though probably the most polished example of the form. Mock-epic is a narrative poem which uses almost all the chracteristic features of an epic and aims at mockery and laughter. Rape of the Lock is seen as a poem where all the elements of mock-epic are found- Invocation to the muses , proposition of subject , battles , supernatural machinery , journey on water , underworld journey , long speeches , feasts , homeric similes. "For anyone concerned for the relations of poetry to the 'real'world , and with the power of poetry to transform the real , mock-heroic is of special interest." (Edwards.1) The prevalence of the mock-epic in pope's time has several possible explanations , one of the possible explanation is that the celebration of war and the military virtues found in aristocratic were not being subscribed whole heartedly by the 'middle-class' reading public. Also , no major Augustan writer produced an epic; though Dryden and Pope translated them. Pope wanted to endorse good sense and good humour in The Rape of the Lock though these are not heroic vritues. Pope's The Rape of the Lock uses highly polished verses, satirical heroic couplets, wit, and intelligence within the epic formula to satirize the absurdities and follies of his society and this is where we find the most delicate humour within the poem. A mock-epic poem is supposed to be the inspiration of a Muse and the language is stilted but the subject is of a commonplace nature. Pope employs this mock-heroic style to satirically recount the social turmoil that occurred when Lord Petre impulsively snipped off a lock of Arabella Fermor's hair, creating hostility between their two families.The Rape of the Lock has a very large number of epic features.It open with the proposition of the subject matter and Pope's invocation to the Muses to help him compose the literary art while on the other hand , if we take Paradise lost , which is also an epic by John Milton , it also begins with the preposition of justification of God's ways to men with an invocation to the muses. The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spencer follows the same.Secondly , in " The Illiad" , Homer has described in detail the weaponry and the armor of the great Achilles while in "The Rape of the Lock" , Pope describes Belinda preparing herself with combs and pins - "Puffs , Powders , Patches , Bibles , Billet-doux. Now awful beauty puts on all its arms.( Pope.14) Here , Pope mocks the vanity of the fashionable society , where they put a lot of importance in physical beauty rather than intellectual.In "Odyssey" , Odysseus prays to the Goddess Athena so that he could finally return to his wife and son after years of battle , on the other hand in "The Rape of the Lock" , we find Belinds worshipping and admiring her own heavenly image in front of the mirror every day. In an epic-poem , there is also an active participation...

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