Popes Rape of the lock reflects the follies and frivolities of the age. He has successfully depicted its shallowness and artificiality. Discuss in detail
Answers 1Add Yours
Pope’s use of the mock epic genre in The Rape of the Lock affords him the poetic occasion to lament the deterioration of ideals in the modern era. Though he depicts conventional epic themes such as love and war, his comic tone indicates that the grandeur of these matters has suffered since the days of Homer and Virgil. The “amorous causes” in Pope’s poem have little in common with Hector’s love for Andromache or Paris’ theft of Helen in The Iliad or Penelope’s devotion to Odysseus in The Odyssey (I. 1). By contrast, the love Pope portrays is that of the Baron for Belinda’s icon (her hair), not Belinda herself. Similarly, the “mighty contests” that once populated epic poetry now arise “from trivial things” (I.2). Achilles’ rage at Agamemnon for affronting his honor with the theft of Briseis has diminished to the anger of a young beauty at the theft of her hair, which will certainly grow back. Pope thus presents a society that is merely a shadow of its heroic past.