The Rape of the Lock is a narrative mock-poem by Alexander Pope that was first published in 1712 and then published in a longer version in 1714. Perhaps the best-known example of mock-epic poem, it employs highly exaggerated language and an elevated tone to describe the stealing of a lock of hair from a young society woman by an equally privileged young baron and the “war” that ensues as a result this act. The poem immediately served to forge the 23-year-old Pope’s reputation as a poet and remains his most frequently studied work.


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