Sunday, April 7, 2019

Alexander Pope’s poem The Rape of the Lock Essay Example for Free

Alexander popes numbers The Rape of the rent EssayT present atomic number 18 several aspects to Alexander popes poem, The Rape of the Lock which cement it as a unique and important work. Not only do popes affair of imagery and other literary tools compose a landscape of the world which is represented here, but pope too creates the odour of total emersion into the story for the endorser. There are besides gayy several(prenominal) issues, at bottom the work itself, which utilize their friendly standing to create emotion for the reader, such(prenominal) as the exp oddmenting of drugs throughout The Rape of the Lock. This creates an emotional bond with between the reader and the char get alonger within the poem by forcing the reader to make judgments on the characters. This judgment, then, becomes part of the readers vision of the world Pope created within the poem. While the poem itself was called to be written by Popes close friend, to end the contention between two families, what Pope succeeds in creating was an epic of lust, debauchery and social posturing. This tale, spun by Alexander Pope, seems right as much a condemnation of the social stratification of his era, as it is a plea for well-born families to border aside their petty squabbles.The events leading up to the writing of the poem, as explained by Pope were The stealing of dangle Belle Fermors fuzz, was taken too seriously, and ca calld an estrangement between the two families, though they had lived so long in undischarged friendship before. A common acquaintance and well wisher to both desired me to write a poem to make a jest of it, and laugh them together again. It was with this view that I wrote the Rape of the Lock. (Pope)This partly explains the use of the term Rape in the title. The use of such a strong word to describe such an inane event illustrates Alexander Popes fondness of parody as well as his ability to illustrate the strange and often humorous idiosyncrasies of the wealthy elite. As Pope begins his five act poem, his first line both questions and accuses the parties involved in the rivalry by asking what trivial things could carry been seen as such a dire Offence. The assault which is spoken of by Pope in this first canto is described as being committed by a well-bred Lord upon a gentle Belle. This assault is also questioned, in that Pope asked how a Belle could refuse the advances of such a well-born man. It is the assumption, from this betimes exchange, that it was socially expected that these two individuals, most certainly due to their social standing, would have no election but to form a physical union completely ignoring any fictitious characterl choice in the matter. Throughout the first canto, there are several examples of instances where Pope created a strange comprehend of humans through his use of word choice and order. Calling to attention the vision of a birth-night beau, a very festive and happy image, Pope juxtapo ses the idea of non-consensual relations and enters into a dream-state. The allusions that Pope creates here are a very white and pure shaft. The use of imagery such as the slippers, silver reasoned, and Belinda laying her head against her d throwy pillow creates a setting of safety and warmth. In line twenty four of the first canto, the poem begins to take on a decidedly fantastic feel. This is used to create the sense that Belinda is truly a slothful person. As she arises at noon, the reader is told that she returns to sleep creating a sense of an unpressured and possibly spoiled girl with no responsibilities. The dreams of Belinda are also illustrated here. Pope mentions several types of fantastic characters in this section which illustrate the unrealistic world Belinda inhabits. The angels and elves which Pope mentions number in the thousands and through them, illustrate the affable age of Belinda that of a child. These creatures also set up the meaning of the first canto , the warning of Belinda. In the croak Mirror of thy ruling StarI saw, alas some dread Event impend,Ere to the Main this break of the day Sun descend.But Heavn reveals not what, or how, or whereWarnd by thy Sylph, oh Pious Maid bewareThis to distinguish is all thy Guardian can.Beware of all, but most beware of Man (Pope 1.108-114)This warning shows the reader, in Popes mock-epic style, that some sort of tragedy is about to unfold for Belinda. This fantastical illustration continues through the end of the first canto. Pope uses the personification of the items in Belindas room to create the creatures which she sees through her dreams. Line cxxxv is a perfect example of this as Pope writes The Tortoise here and Elephant unite, / Transformd to Combs. It is obvious to the reader that Pope is describing a tortoise shell and ivory comb. However, in the dream world of Belinda, this object is represented by its literal components before losing this personification and becoming a tool to create Belindas physical beauty. The routine canto is used to by Pope to illustrate the importance of hair to the physical beauty of Belinda. Her majestic persona is described by Pope in order to place a heavy weight on the locks of hair she will ultimately lose to the impetuous Lord. Pope exaggerates Belindas physical attractor and the attractiveness of her jewelry as well. though she is surrounded by many well presented youths, all adorned in splendor, evry Eye was fixd on her alone (Pope 2.6) Her physical beauty, as Pope describes it, is accentuated by the cross around her cope which was so spectacular that Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore. (2.8)The power of a piece of jewelry to overcome religious conviction is very unlikely, however, for Pope, this is a perfect way to illustrate the perceived power of high social standing of the wealthy elite. For the members of the elite families of England, the importance of visual presentation cannot be over-stated, not even when com pared to religion. though the symbol she wears is a Christian icon, its beauty both from its construction and the fact that it is being worn by a young girl of such attractiveness as Belinda, it could seemingly convert Jews and heathens from their elect dogmas. It is also in canto two that the queen, who will perpetrate the rape of the lock, is introduced. Lines twenty nine and thirty of the second canto reads Th Adventrous Baron the bright Locks admird, / He saw, he wishd, and to the Prize aspird. This introduction of the Lord creates an interesting situation for the reader. contempt the several dozen lines of text which describe the beauty of Belindas clothing, jewelry as well as her physical features, it is the locks of hair that hang against her neck which the Baron first sets eyes upon, and subsequently longs for. The first feelings of the Baron are shown to be violent in nature. Resolvd to win, he meditates the way, By Force to ravish, or by dissembler betray For when Succ ess a Lovers Toil attends, Few ask, if Fraud or Force attaind his Ends. (2.31-34)This illustration of the mans cloaked shows the reader that the Baron does not visualize the hair on Belinda as a part of Belinda if he recognizes Belinda at all. The hair that hangs on her neck, however, is instantly revered as a alarming prize. It is also through this section that the locks of hair are given over a sexual persona. At no time does the Baron speak, or think of Belinda as a source of joy, but rather her hair as an all encompassing quest. The immediacy of the Barons passion for the locks of Belindas hair illustrates a very important aspect of his personality the trophy is more important than the conquest. It is the intent of the Baron to boast the locks of hair, as one would display a commendation. The locks of would signify the physical conquest of the beauty of Belinda whether or not that conquest ever actually occurred. The signification given to the locks of hair on Belindas he ad is that of her chastity. By removing them, the Baron, in so much as it was seen in the times, had given Belinda the equivalent of a badge of promiscuity. The means through which the Baron achieves his goal, is illustrated through a card game. though this game is seemingly innocuous, it symbolizes to very searching and overt actions the first being war, with the direct imagery within the poem, and the other being sex, by the eventual winning of the locks of chastity by the Baron. The victory of the card game enables the Baron to cut the locks of hair from Belindas head. This action, keeping with the tone of the title of the poem, is illustrated violently though the reality of the action was certainly far slight extraordinary. The Peer now spreads the glittring Forfex wide, Tinclose the Lock now joins it, to divide. Evn then, before the fatal Engine closd, A wretched Sylph too fondly interposd Fate urgd the Sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain, (But Airy Substance soon unites ag ain) The meeting Points that sacred pig dissever From the fair Head, for ever and for ever (3.147-154)The words used by Pope in this stanza are undoubtedly violent. Though the Baron is removing the hair with the pressured permission of Belinda, Pope chooses to paint this scene as though the Baron was attacking her, killing her, and/or ravaging her body. Pope also uses strange images to create the prospect in the readers mind. Line 148 states that the scissors were closed around the hair, cutting it however, the language chosen by Pope creates the image of both conjunction and disjunction. This stanza is followed by hence flashd the living Lightnings from her Eyes, And Screams of Horror sunder th affrighted Skies. Not louder Shrieks to pitying Heavn are cast, When Husbands or when Lap-dogs breath their last, Or when rich China Vessels, faln from high, In glittring Dust and painted Fragments lie (3.155-160)This violence that is being spoken of here, as intended by Pope, creates th e feeling of murder, and military conquest. The emotions that Pope takes advantage of here, are for the express purpose of illustrating the over-exaggerated weight placed in the locks of hair. This scene is intentionally written so violently, as to show the reader that the members of this social stratum have curt understanding of the true importance of things such as locks of hair. Throughout canto four, Pope makes several allusions to the act of torture. It is the intent of these lines to show the reader that the taking of the locks of hair, for Belinda, however insignificant as they may truly be, was a indefinable and violating event. Meanwhile, the Baron, himself, calls into question the validity of the social significance of the hair While the Fops envy, and the Ladies stare / Honour forbid at whose unrivald Shrine / Ease, Pleasure, Virtue, All, our Sex resign. (4.104-107) The remainder of the poem, for Pope, further illustrates the illogical amount of importance placed on th e loss of Belindas hair. The insistence that Fate and Jove where in the audience of this event, illustrates for the reader that the confederacy which Pope is lampooning here feels that the Christian God and the pagan gods would be affronted by witnessing such a horrible action. Pope also suggests that the loss of Belindas locks would be of such great importance to the surrounding women in her living that their own lives would come to a halt For who cam move when fair Belinda fails? (5.4) Pope offers no redemption for the couple, or the society they inhabit. By line ninety-four of the fifth canto, Belinda and the Baron engage in actual combat. Pope uses this constrict to further illustrate the complexity of this societys skewed priorities. Now meet thy Fate, incensd Belinda cryd, And drew a deadly Bodkin from her Side. (The same, his ancient Personage to deck, Her great great Grandsire wore about his Neck In common chord Seal-Rings which after, melted down, Formd a vast Buckle f or his Widows Gown Her infant Grandames Whistle next it grew, The Bells she gingled, and the Whistle blew Then in a Bodkin gracd her Mothers Hairs, Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.) (5.86-96)The fact that the petite and beautiful Belinda pulls a vane from her side, and attacks the Baron with it, is against the idea of the age where men are the fighters and women are weak in and in train of protection. This attack by the young maiden is followed by the powerful Barons begging for his life ah, let me survive. (5.101) This, again, goes against the expectations of the reader, creating a setting of irrationality. These actions by Pope to create this skewed reality, are efficient in forcing the reader to see the entire world of The Rape of the Lock as improbable. Throughout the poem, Pope utilizes the tools of the ancient epic poems to create a sense of importance and truth to the work. Just as mark had with his Iliad, Pope creates a tale of heroic and historical importanc e. However, this is simply a ploy to expose the speak lack of importance of the issue at hand. The entirety of the poem is an exaggeration of the expectations of the reader, and their knowledge of history and poetic license. The complexity of Popes couplet rhyming as well as the loose iambic lines, suggest that the work is meant to be seen just as the historical epics had been. However, the use of exaggerated metaphors and unlikely situations deliver that sense of importance and overpower it. The voice that Pope uses throughout the poem allows the reader to feel at ease with the untrustworthiness of the narrator. It was the intent of Alexander Pope to illustrate a situation in which a ludicrous amount of importance was placed on a fairly insignificant object hair. Though the fact is never revealed within the poem, hair regrows naturally. This means that regardless of the taking of the hair by the Baron, given ample time, the hair would be replaced and the event completely forgot ten. However, as with the strain between the two families for which Pope was inspired to write about, the event was seen as somewhat of a major catastrophe.WORKS CITEDPope, Alexander. The Rape of the Lock. University of Massachusetts. find out of access April 27, 2007. URL http//www-unix.oit.umass.edu/sconstan/index.html

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