The Rape of the Lock

The Rape of the Lock The Rape Of The Lock By Alexander Pope Has Been Freshly Brought Out Under The Series Orient BlackSwan Annotated Study Texts Which Is A Series Designed To Bring Classic English Texts Closer To Students So That They Are Able To Enjoy And Understand The Literary Beauty And Value Of These Excellent Works The Introductions, Commentaries And Notes Are Aimed To Provide Guidance To The Student To Perceive The Complete Literary And Cultural Matrix Of The Work As Well As To Draw On The Stylistic And Technical Mastery Of The Writers Frequently, The Student Finds Himself Herself Confronted With Not Only The Intricacies Of The Text Under Study But Also The Necessity To Grapple With It Contextually In Terms Of Genre, Literary And Historical Background And Critical Commentary These Editions Provide The Necessary Background And Analysis, Including A List Of Questions And Topics For Discussion In Class As Well As A Select Bibliography

Alexander Pope is generally regarded as the greatest English poet of the eighteenth century, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer He is the third most frequently quoted writer in the English language, after Shakespeare and Tennyson Pope was a master of the heroic couplet.

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  • Paperback
  • 128 pages
  • The Rape of the Lock
  • Alexander Pope
  • English
  • 05 April 2019
  • 9788125040316

10 thoughts on “The Rape of the Lock

  1. says:

    SHE said the pitying Audience melt in Tears,But Fate and Jove had stopp d the Baron s Ears.In vain Thalestris with Reproach assails,For who can move when fair Belinda fails Not half to fixt the Trojan cou d remain,While Anna begg d and Dido rag d in vain.Then grave Clarissa graceful wav d her Fan Silence ensu d, and thus the Nymph began Say, why are Beauties prais d and honour d most,The wise Man s Passion, and the vain Man s Toast Why deck d with all that Land and Sea afford,Why Angels call d, and Angel like ador d Why round our Coaches crowd the white glov d Beaus,Why bows the Side box from its inmost Rows How vain are all these Glories, all our Pains,Unless good Sense preserve what Beauty gains That Men may say, when we the Front box grace,Behold the first in Virtue, as in Face Oh if to dance all Night, and dress all Day,Charm d the Small pox, or chas d old Age away Who would not scorn what Huswife s Cares produce,Or who would learn one earthly Thing of Use To patch, nay ogle, might become a Saint,Nor could it sure be such a Sin to paint.But since, alas frail Beauty must decay,Curl d or uncurl d, since Locks will turn to grey,Since paint d, or not paint d, all shall fade,And she who scorns a Man, must die a Maid What then remains, but well our Pow r to use,And keep good Humour still whate er we lose And trust me, Dear good Humour can prevail,When Airs, and Flights, and Screams, and Scolding fail.Beauties in vain their pretty Eyes may roll Charms strike the Sight, but Merit wins the Soul So spake the Dame, but no Applause ensu d Belinda frown d, Thalestris call d her Prude.To Arms, to Arms the fierce Virago cries,And swift as Lightning to the Combate flies.All side in Parties, and begin th Attack Fans clap, Silks russle, and tough Whalebones crack Heroes and Heroins Shouts confus dly rise,And base, and treble Voices strike the Skies.No common Weapons in their Hands are found,Like Gods they fight, nor dread a mortal Wound So when bold Homer makes the Gods engage,And heav nly Breasts with human Passions rage Gainst Pallas, Mars Latona, Hermes arms And all Olympus rings with loud Alarms.Jove s Thunder roars, Heav n trembles all around Blue Neptune storms, the bellowing Deeps resound Earth shakes her nodding Tow rs, the Ground gives way And the pale Ghosts start at the Flash of Day Triumphant Umbriel on a Sconce s HeightClapt his glad Wings, and sate to view the Fight,Propt on their Bodkin Spears, the Sprights surveyThe growing Combat, or assist the Fray While thro the Press enrag d Thalestries flies,And scatters Deaths around from both her Eyes,A Beau and Witling perish d in the Throng,One dy d in Metaphor, and one in Song.O cruel Nymph a living Death I bear,Cry d Dapperwit, and sunk beside his Chair.A mournful Glance Sir Fopling upwards cast,Those Eyes are made so killing was his last Thus on Meander s flow ry Margin liesTh expiring Swan, and as he sings he dies When bold Sir Plume had drawn Clarissa down,Chloe stept in, and kill d him with a Frown She smil d to see the doughty Hero slain,But at her Smile, the Beau reviv d again Now Jove suspends his golden Scales in Air,Weighs the Mens Wits against the Lady s Hair The doubtful Beam long nods from side to side At length the Wits mount up, the Hairs subside See fierce Belinda on the Baron flies,With than usual Lightning in her Eyes Nor fear d the Chief th unequal Fight to try,Who sought no than on his Foe to die.But this bold Lord, with manly Strength indu d,She with one Finger and a Thumb subdu d,Just where the Breath of Life his Nostrils drew,A Charge of Snuff the wily Virgin threw The Gnomes direct, to ev ry Atome just,The pungent Grains of titillating Dust.Sudden, with starting Tears each Eye o erflows,And the high Dome re ecchoes to his Nose Now meet thy Fate, incens d Belinda cry d,And drew a deadly Bodkin from her Side The same, his ancient Personage to deck,Her great great Grandsire wore about his NeckIn three Seal Rings which after, melted down,Form d a vast Buckle for his Widow s Gown Her infant Grandame s Whistle next it grew,The Bells she gingled, and the Whistle blew Then in a Bodkin grac d her Mother s Hairs,Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears Boast not my Fall he cry d insulting Foe Thou by some other shalt be laid as low.Nor think, to die dejects my lofty Mind All that I dread, is leaving you behind Rather than so, ah let me still survive,And burn in Cupid s Flames, but burn alive Restore the Lock she cries and all aroundRestore the Lock the vaulted Roofs rebound.Not fierce Othello in so loud a StrainRoar d for the Handkerchief that caus d his Pain.But see how oft Ambitious Aims are cross d,And Chiefs contend till all the Prize is lost The Lock, obtain d with Guilt, and kept with Pain,In ev ry place is sought, but sought in vain With such a Prize no Mortal must be blest,So Heav n decrees with Heav n who can contest Some thought it mounted to the Lunar Sphere,Since all things lost on Earth, are treasur d there.There Heroe s Wits are kept in pondrous Vases,And Beau s in Snuff boxes and Tweezer Cases.There broken Vows, and Death bed Alms are found,And Lovers Hearts with Ends of Riband bound The Courtiers Promises, and Sick Man s Pray rs,The Smiles of Harlots, and the Tears of Heirs,Cages for Gnats, and Chains to Yoak a Flea Dry d Butterflies, and Tomes of Casuistry But trust the Muse she saw it upward rise,Tho mark d by none but quick Poetic Eyes So Rome s great Founder to the Heav ns withdrew,To Proculus alone confess d in view A sudden Star, it shot thro liquid Air,And drew behind a radiant Trail of Hair.Not Berenice s Locks first rose so bright,The heav ns bespangling with dishevel d light.The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,And pleas d pursue its Progress thro the Skies This the Beau monde shall from the Mall survey,And hail with Musick its propitious Ray.This, the blest Lover shall for Venus take,And send up Vows from Rosamonda s Lake.This Partridge soon shall view in cloudless Skies,When next he looks thro Galilaeo s Eyes And hence th Egregious Wizard shall foredoomThe Fate of Louis, and the Fall of Rome Then cease, bright Nymph to mourn the ravish d HairWhich adds new Glory to the shining Sphere Not all the Tresses that fair Head can boastShall draw such Envy as the Lock you lost.For, after all the Murders of your Eye,When, after Millions slain, your self shall die When those fair Suns shall sett, as sett they must,And all those Tresses shall be laid in Dust This Lock, the Muse shall consecrate to Fame,And mid st the Stars inscribe Belinda s Name.

  2. says:

    I ve always believed that miracles can happen and that great physical and or mental suffering can engender greatness This indeed proved to be the case with this splendid work by Alexander Pope.I find Pope a fascinating individual He was a catholic, at a time when legislation was repressive with regard to this religion he was practically self educated, a semi invalid all his life, in fact he contracted Pott s disease, a tubercular affection of the bones, which may have been transmitted through his wet nurses milk, or through unpasteurized cow s milk He also suffered from asthma and headaches, and his humpback was a constant target for his critics in literary battles Pope was called a hunchbacked toad In middle age he was 4ft 6in tall and wore a stiffened canvas bodice to support his spine, which twisted like a question mark. Also being a catholic he knew that he could never attend university and so he spent many hours reading and writing in his father s library during his youth.And yet despite all of this, he was driven on with his dream to become a great poet on a par with Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer and Spenser and a satirical one at that and by sheer doggedness and determination he achieved that with this masterpiece.Pope was desperate for fame and his opportunity came when his friend and neighbour, John Caryll told him about a lover s quarrel that had occurred between Arabella Fermor and Lord Petre, when the latter stealthily removed a lock of her hair with a pair of scissors but the sinful fact was that he hadn t asked her permission The result of this lack of decorum was a rift between the two families as the Fermor family felt slighted There was a tacit understanding that the couple would become engaged but Lord Petre never pursued the matter and subsequently married someone else This removal of hair was evidently seen as a significant intimate and sexual act that implied that marriage was in the air.As Caryll was friendly with both families, he wanted Pope to write an amusing poem of the affair to reunite the two families and the outcome was this wonderful poem.The book comprises five cantos known as An Heroi comical Poem of Five Cantos beginning with Ariel, a sylph carefully keeping an eye on Belinda interestingly enough Arabella was known as Bell Pope had originally written two cantos when he was twenty three and expanded these to five over the following three years But what is really exciting about this work is that the nine drawings known as embroidery because of their finely detailed style by Aubrey Beardsley are masterpieces in their own right There s a central motif running through five of them There is a specific individual involved but I can still only find four See if you can find them when you read the poem.All of the couplets are excellent but the two I particularly liked were Of these am I, who thy Protection Claim,A watchful Sprite, and Ariel is my Name.Late as I rang d the crystal Wilds of Air,In the clear Mirror of thy ruling StarI saw, alas some dread Event impend,Ere to the Main this morning s Sun descend,But Heav n reveals not what, or how, or where Warn d by thy Sylph, oh pious Maid beware This is to disclose is all thy Guardian can.Beware of all, but most beware of Man and, It grieves me much replied the Peer again Who speaks so well shou d ever speak in vainBut by this lock this sacred Lock I swear, Which never shall join its parted Hair Which never its Honours shall renew,Clipp d from the lovely Head where late it grew That while my Nostrils draw the vital Air,This Hand, which won it, shall for ever wear.He spoke, and speaking, in proud Triumph spreadThe long contended Honours of her Head.If you are a couplet lover then this exquisite poem will be ideal for you I read it purely for the pleasure of reading the first time around but when I reread it I could see that throughout this amusing and satirical epic, there were layers hiding a dark side There s also the magical faerie aspect of the book which is enchanting and one can see that Pope was influenced by Shakespeare s A Midsummer Night s Dream.I originally read this on Kindle, but I ve ordered the hardcover today as Kindle, I believe, has not quite captured the essence of Beardsley s remarkable and delicate drawings also I want to find the individual who, so far, I cannot find in one of Beardsley s drawings.Even after all these years, this is indeed a wonderful work.

  3. says:

    At ev ry Word a Reputation dies The Battle of the Beaux and Belles by Aubrey BeardsleyOne of the wittiest poems ever written, The Rape of the Lock first published in 1712 makes good natured fun of a real life situation a 21 year old Baron, Lord Robert Petre, rudely snipped off of a lock of hair from Arabella Fermor, a lovely young lady of his acquaintance, without her consent Arabella was incensed the situation wasn t helped when Lord Petre went and married someone else the next year , and the fall out was causing a feud between their two prominent families Alexander Pope s friend John Caryll suggest that Pope write a humorous poem about the event, in the hope that it would help everyone involved to lighten up I m not sure he succeeded there, but this poem did make a lot of other people extremely happy.What dire Offence from am rous Causes springs, What mighty Contests rise from trivial Things, I sing This Verse to Caryll, Muse is duePope wrote a mock epic version of the story, with Arabella or Belle renamed as Belinda Say what strange Motive, Goddess could compelA well bred Lord to assault a gentle Belle Oh say what stranger Cause, yet unexplored,Could make a gentle Belle reject a Lord The poem follows the elaborate epic literary traditions of classics like The Iliad and Paradise Lost, but subverts them it has supernatural beings Bella s rather ineffective fairies , the arming of the heroine for war with clothing, jewelry, etc , a descent into the underworld, and an epic battle of the sexes where the heroine slays men with her eyes The juxtaposition between grand ideas and trivial concerns is delightful Whether the Nymph shall break Diana s Law, Or some frail China Jar receive a Flaw, Or stain her Honour, or her new Brocade, Forget her Pray rs, or miss a Masquerade, Or lose her Heart, or Necklace, at a Ball Rape, by the way, didn t have quite the meaning in the 1700s that it does now I remember my English professor talking about this, and Shmoop agrees Words are a lot like snowballs in that respect as they roll through history, they gather layers and layers of meanings In the 18th century, in Pope s day, rape also meant to carry away or take something from someone by force Rape did have a sexual connotation, but in no way as strongly as it does now By using it in the title as the verb to describe what happens to Belinda s hair, Pope is playing on both layers of meaning seizing something by force and personal violation.Reportedly Arabella Fermor was quite charmed with this poem until she realized or, likely, it was pointed out to her by friends that there are some rather risqu double entendres in the poem Oops.

  4. says:

    How to Write Poetry like Pope Poetry looks hard, but it s really not It is an art that has been largely forgot.So hear me now to me bend your ear The ideal pupil makes his mind a mirror.I will lay steps, the mystery unfoldThings long known, though never grow they old.First of all, the grammar you must change The normal order of words, you rearrange.The verb at the end, you can put Really, it s easier than it looks Then sweet sounding symmetries you find Put the last before, the first behind.Once in a while you may a word elide That is, if the meaning is strong enough implied Aphorisms next, you must create.Something witty, snappy but don t prateAbout morals and good conduct simply sayWhat no one else can better simply playWith words, shaking them, until a phraseComes out, like how Jackson Pollock paints.A good metaphor is next a good symbolIs to poetry what to sewing is a thimble Well, that wasn t very good, but I suspectYou get the idea So what s next One can an abstract image personify What is a Muse but inspiration disguised Clothe a concept in a fleshy robeSo she can walk and dance in your poemLike a goddess Speaking of which,Mythology is as useful as Hephaestus sGift to was Achilles a shining Shield He should have asked for armor for his heel And don t forget this tool alliteration.Very valuable for verdant versification Sometimes a verse doesn t have to quite make sense If it sounds good, it won t cause offense If you wish, you can your rhyme scheme breakWhereas before two lines, now it three takesTo a complete stanza make.But just remember, if you meet frustration No tool is valuable than inspiration.Here concludes your lesson for today.It can be all summed up in one word play To language is poetry, what to food is spice Add it to make something bland taste nice.A thought which would be boring, if expressedExquisitely, can be on the mind impressed.In other words, if you master poetry,In the minds of generations you can remembered be.

  5. says:

    Compared to the Nineteenth Century s Romantic movement and the Seventeenth s Shakespeare and Milton, the Eighteenth has always felt a veritable void to me There was a little bit going on in France with Diderot and Voltaire, and some minor British works by Swift and Defoe, but by and large, Eighteenth Century literature is Fielding and Pope.He began his inimitable wit and wordly mastery with An Essay on Criticism when he was only 21 It was a varied, vivid exploration of what makes writing good, and includes such oft quoted lines as To err is human, to forgive divine , A little learning is a dangerous thing , and fools rush in where angels fear to tread.Four years later he added his contribution to the Epic Tradition with The Rape of the Lock One of the reasons that this was a slow century for literature was that it was a century obsessed with the superficial Like all great Epicists before him, Pope captured the spirit of his age, but in this case, instead of capturing it in a broad net of climactic action, beautiful language, and political posturing, he speared it with an acerbic tongue.His epic was a small one, but just as Milton reinvented the genre by replacing the hero with the villain, Pope revolutionized the genre by replacing the epic with the everyday His lampooning of the high nobility and their self importance allied him literarily with his contemporaries, such as Voltaire, who all prefigured the social and literary revolution of the coming century.Pope plays a very delicate instrument with his epic, often balancing a thin line between respect and ridicule the same line the nobility had to walk every day His linguistic and conceptual abilities shine here, as does his humor, which lies on the upper borders of the clever and the witty.Pope had an unfortunately backward view of women, nowhere reaching the subtle implications of Milton s autoerotic Eve or Shakespeare s Cleopatra, or even the powerful women of the Greek and Roman Epics Yet his portrayals here do not show the same bias as his Epistle to a Lady , since he lets his mockery fall equally on the foolish men and women of his period, and often for the same superficialities His later works consisted of translations and numerous political treatises, which though scathing and brilliant in their way, do not continue the philosophic and artistic exploration begun in An Essay on Criticism and expanded in The Rape of the Lock The Dunciad certainly has a similar bent, but is too historo specific to really have the same effect, so The Rape of The Lock is probably the best work of the best British poet of the Eighteenth.

  6. says:

    Light hearted and satirical, I feel the whole point of Alexander Pope for writing this poem was to portray the pettiness and shallowness of the society and time he was living inthe Restoration period, a time when society gave importance to physical beauty and material thingsI think he meant for this work to be simply satirical and not inspirational.

  7. says:

    On re reading Ooooh, I do love me a good satire I don t think I was as familiar with mythology during any of my previous readings, so I definitely picked up on allusions this time through the mock epic.For those unfamiliar, this treats, in epic terms heroic couplets and all , a most tragic event that happened to a young lady a bold Baron covertly cuts a lustrous lock of her hair I picture our heroine, Belinda, with her cherubic face and heavenly hair looking something like this which would make it understandable for her to lament Forever cursed be this detested day, Which snatched my best, my favorite curl away Some favorite zeugma there s a lot Here Britain s statesmen oft the fall foredoom Of foreign tyrants and of nymphs at home And Whether the nymph shall break Diana s law,Or some frail china jar receive a flaw, O stain her honor or her brocade, Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade, Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball, Or whether Heaven has doomed that Shock must fall.

  8. says:

    The Rape of the Lock is a humorous indictment of the vanities and idleness of 18th century high society Basing his poem on a real incident among families of his acquaintance, Pope intended his verses to cool hot tempers and to encourage his friends to laugh at their own folly.The poem is perhaps the most outstanding example in the English language of the genre of mock epic The epic had long been considered one of the most serious of literary forms it had been applied, in the classical period, to the lofty subject matter of love and war, and, recently, by Milton, to the intricacies of the Christian faith The strategy of Pope s mock epic is not to mock the form itself, but to mock his society in its very failure to rise to epic standards, exposing its pettiness by casting it against the grandeur of the traditional epic subjects and the bravery and fortitude of epic heroes Pope s mock heroic treatment in The Rape of the Lock underscores the ridiculousness of a society in which values have lost all proportion, and the trivial is handled with the gravity and solemnity that ought to be accorded to truly important issues The society on display in this poem is one that fails to distinguish between things that matter and things that do not The poem mocks the men it portrays by showing them as unworthy of a form that suited a heroic culture Thus the mock epic resembles the epic in that its central concerns are serious and often moral, but the fact that the approach must now be satirical rather than earnest is symptomatic of how far the culture has fallen.Pope s use of the mock epic genre is intricate and exhaustive The Rape of the Lock is a poem in which every element of the contemporary scene conjures up some image from epic tradition or the classical world view, and the pieces are wrought together with a cleverness and expertise that makes the poem surprising and delightful Pope s transformations are numerous, striking, and loaded with moral implications The great battles of epic become bouts of gambling and flirtatious tiffs The great, if capricious, Greek and Roman gods are converted into a relatively undifferentiated army of basically ineffectual sprites Cosmetics, clothing, and jewelry substitute for armor and weapons, and the rituals of religious sacrifice are transplanted to the dressing room and the altar of love.The verse form of The Rape of the Lock is the heroic couplet Pope still reigns as the uncontested master of the form The heroic couplet consists of rhymed pairs of iambic pentameter lines lines of ten syllables each, alternating stressed and unstressed syllables Pope s couplets do not fall into strict iambs, however, flowering instead with a rich rhythmic variation that keeps the highly regular meter from becoming heavy or tedious Pope distributes his sentences, with their resolutely parallel grammar, across the lines and half lines of the poem in a way that enhances the judicious quality of his ideas Moreover, the inherent balance of the couplet form is strikingly well suited to a subject matter that draws on comparisons and contrasts the form invites configurations in which two ideas or circumstances are balanced, measured, or compared against one another It is thus perfect for the evaluative, moralizing premise of the poem, particularly in the hands of this brilliant poet.

  9. says:

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  10. says:

    It is a masterpiece of satire in English literature.

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