The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

The Rape of the Lock: A Mock Epic

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

The poem “The Rape of the Lock”, written by Alexander Pope, first became available for public reading in 1712. The poem is a mock heroic and Pope is criticizing the upper class of London for their morality, religion, norms and their pursuits of that time. This poem saw many stages and got modified with each. Its length was two cantos only in the original version. With time, the story moved forward and became longer. In 1714, its modified version was published, which composed of five cantos. This version did really well in market and sold thousands of copies in first few days. In 1717, Pope published the final version, as we know it now. This includes Clarissa’s speech that aided in bringing to light the morality in the poem.

Main literary articles of The Rape of the Lock are below…

Introduction to “The Rape of the Lock”

This article contains general information about the epic. Here you can know about publication history, phase of amendments and extension from two cantos to five cantos. Click here to continue reading…

The Rape of the Lock as a Mock-Heroic Epic

A Mock-heroic epic is a poem which uses a formal and grand style to describe a trivial or common subject for which this style is not suitable. This leads to a comic effect since the style of the poem is mismatched with the subject. Rape of the lock is one of the best examples of mock-heroic epics. Click here to continue reading…

The Rape of the Lock as a Social Satire

Alexander Pope was one of the best satirists England has ever produced. The function of a satirist is didactic and his object is the reformation of humankind and their follies and foibles. The satirist has a yardstick of conduct. He has weapons like wit, mockery, humor, ridicule and irony. Pope has been accused of venom and pungency, which are attributed to his physical deformity. However, a close look at the “The Rape of the Lock” would show that Pope has a wide range and, unlike Swift, he is quite capable of sympathetic understanding, ironic humor, as well as venomous castigation. Nevertheless, most of the time, he is elegantly polished and can say bitterest thing with urbanity. Click here to continue reading…

Pope’s Use of Heroic Couplet

The heroic couplet is a verse unit of two rhymed iambic pentameter lines. It is “heroic measure” because of its association with the heroic and epic poetry in the seventeenth century under the French influence. The most prominent poet of this age, who used this verse form, was Dryden.

Pope inherited Dryden’s mantle but carried the development of the heroic couplet much further and brought it to near perfection. Pope molded the heroic couplet exactly to his purpose, polished it to the extreme of melodiousness and touched it to sparkle with the utmost brilliance. The heroic couplet, as Pope wrote it, attracts attention to itself as meter does. It is so brief that while reading we notice variations between couplets. Click here to continue reading…

Major Themes in the Rape of the Lock

Major Themes in the Rape of the Lock are beauty, religion and morality, femininity, pride, love, pursuits, and morality of upper class. Click here to continue reading…