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 twists in which Pope intended. Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” has biblical teachings throughout in Helps the reader to realize that it is it satirical.
Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” is very similar to “The Iliad” and can be distinguished as a classical, yet more modern poem with pranks and plot twists (Schaefer, p91). Pope leaves his audience to recall and compare the similarities and differences between old English and original Greek literature as a timeline and guide on how he presumed his writing efforts of “The Rape of the Lock” (Frost, p349). The fact left unknown, is exactly when Pope begin writing “The Rape of the Lock,” and what time he decided to mimic “The Iliad” (Frost, p346). With Pope’s work one may conclude that he knew bringing in biblical passages would indeed provoke the Christian readers to read deeper and ponder upon the verses and biblical inferences made (Gandolfo, p36). Something else the audience is baffled by, is whether he had too much material and crammed it all together making it more confusing and distracting for the reader (Frost, p347).
Alexander Pope’s work is considered by many, a parody of the underworld and a journey in which a hero encounters a member of the dead (Baines, p71). Pope does not use the best grammar and punctuation; his sentences are actually quite stumbling and include many fragments. What makes him do this? He uses these techniques in order to be recognized and to ultimately add a dramatic effect to his poetry (Schaefer, p39). Pope’s use of poetic devices and unique word choice add to the dramatic and situational irony in the poem. One can conclude that Pope feels that justice was done by the cutting of Belinda’s hair; this is satirical due to the fact that this type of punishment is unusual especial in this time period when women were not to cut their hair. The reason that he felt this way is obvious. Pope must have felt as if man is superior to woman as The Bible portrays. Pope punishes Belinda’s behavior by cutting her hair off while stating that a woman with a head uncovered, is as good as a woman with a shaved head (Gandolfo, p36). Pope’s words such as “adores”, suggest that Belinda was placed as an object of worship for God and not for humanity (Gandolfo, p36). Pope also deliberately placed a male figure in her mind to warn her of some type of impending disaster although she could not figure out exactly what was meant by the image or how she was supposed to act upon it (Baines, p65). Belinda was seen as a figure amongst the gods with her...