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The Rape of the Lock

Alexander Pope

Characters

Context

Summary

Belinda -  Belinda is based on the historical Arabella Fermor, a member of Pope’s circle of prominent Roman Catholics. Robert, Lord Petre (the Baron in the poem) had precipitated a rift between their two families by snipping off a lock of her hair.
The Baron  -  This is the pseudonym for the historical Robert, Lord Petre, the young gentleman in Pope’s social circle who offended Arabella Fermor and her family by cutting off a lock of her hair. In the poem’s version of events, Arabella is known as Belinda.
Caryl -  The historical basis for the Caryl character is John Caryll, a friend of Pope and of the two families that had become estranged over the incident the poem relates. It was Caryll who suggested that Pope encourage a reconciliation by writing a humorous poem.
Goddess -  The muse who, according to classical convention, inspires poets to write their verses
Shock -  Belinda’s lapdog
Ariel -  Belinda’s guardian sylph, who oversees an army of invisible protective deities
Umbriel -  The chief gnome, who travels to the Cave of Spleen and returns with bundles of sighs and tears to aggravate Belinda’s vexation
Brillante -  The sylph who is assigned to guard Belinda’s earrings
Momentilla -  The sylph who is assigned to guard Belinda’s watch
Crispissa -  The sylph who is assigned to guard Belinda’s “fav’rite Lock”
Clarissa -  A woman in attendance at the Hampton Court party. She lends the Baron the pair of scissors with which he cuts Belinda’s hair, and later delivers a moralizing lecture.
Thalestris -  Belinda’s friend, named for the Queen of the Amazons and representing the historical Gertrude Morley, a friend of Pope’s and the wife of Sir George Browne (rendered as her “beau,” Sir Plume, in the poem). She eggs Belinda on in her anger and demands that the lock be returned.
Sir Plume -  Thalestris’s “beau,” who makes an ineffectual challenge to the Baron. He represents the historical Sir George Browne, a member of Pope’s social circle.

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Consider the poem ‘The Rape of the Lock’ as a mock-heroic epic.

by touhidsm, April 29, 2014

Mock epic is a narrative poem which aims at mockery and laughter by using almost all the characteristic features of an epic but for a trivial subject. Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” is a famous mock-epic. In it, there is invocation to Muses, proposition of subject, battles, supernatural machinery, journey on water, underworld journey, long speeches, feasts (coffee house), Homeric similes and grand style but all for a simple family dispute instead of a national struggle. The grand treatment of a low subject produces hilarious l... Read more

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Discuss on the character of Belinda.

by touhidsm, April 29, 2014

Ans: Having a Cleopatra-like variety, Belinda is the one who is all pervasive and central character in Alexander Pope's mock heroic, "The Rape of the Lock". Pope's attitude to Belinda is very mixed and complicated: mocking and yet tender, admiring and yet critical. Read the full answer at

http://josbd.com/belinda.html

Q. "The Rape of the Lock" is a satire on contemporary society – justify your answer.

by touhidsm, May 03, 2014

Ans: The word ‘satire’ is derived from the Latin word ‘satira’ which is a literary attack on the follies and vices of an individual or a society with a view to correcting them through laughter and ridicule written either in prose or verse. However, as Shakespeare is the poet of man, Alexander Pope is a poet of society. “The Rape of the Lock” is a social document because it mirrors contemporary society and contains a social satire, too. Read the full answer Free at

http://josbd.com/pope_satire.html

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