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the master mock epic by Alexander pope.written in verses the poem exposes the trivial values and frivolity of the contemporary era.


  • The Rape of the Lockby Alexander Pope

  • About Alexander PopeBorn in a Catholic family Suffered from prejudices Educated in Twyford

  • About Alexander PopeMoved to Binfield in 1700

    Self-taught: did nothing but read and write

    Suffered from ill health: tuberculosis, asthma, and headaches

  • About Alexander PopeMoved to Binfield in 1700

    Humpbacked and deformed

  • About Alexander PopePublished An Essay on Criticism in 1711

    First striking success as a poet

    Made friends with Jonathan Swift and John Gay

  • About Alexander PopePublished an early version of The Rape of the Lock in 1712 (two cantos)

    A funny battle between sexes and follies of a young lady

  • About Alexander Pope Expanded The Rape of the Lock in 1714 (five cantos)

    A quarrel between two families Characters: Lord Petre :BaronMiss Arabella Fermor: Belinda

  • About Alexander PopeBackground: John Carylls suggestion to pour poetic oils on these troubled waters or Hope that a little laughter might serve to soothe ruffled tempers. Popes purpose: Do not worry about trivial things!

  • About Alexander PopeTranslated Iliad and Odyssey into English

    The first man to prove Literature can raise writers.

  • About Alexander PopePublished The Dunciad in 1728

    Became professional satirist

    Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep

  • About Alexander Pope

    Died on May 30, 1744

    The Age of Pope ended

  • Summary

  • Canto 1

    Belinda awakes from sleeping

    The dream of Belinda

    Belinda prepares for the days social activities

  • Canto 2The travel on the Thames riverThe prayer of the young adventurer BaronThe Sylphs mission to tend the Fairto protect Belinda Brillantethe earrings Chrispissathe locks ArielShock, Belindas lapdog Momentillathe watch fifty chosen Sylphsthe petticoat

  • Canto 3

    The game of cardsombre

    The rape of the lock

  • Canto 4Belindas Ill-Natured mood and Affection after the loss of the lockUmbriel, the earthy gnome, descends to the Cave of SpleenThalestris speech rouses the rage of BelindaSir Plume bids in vain the payment of the lock

  • Canto 5

    Clarissas speech

    The battle of belles and beaux

    The lock rises to the heaven and becomes a star

  • Writing Style


    Mock epic


  • Epic, the CharacteristicsA long narrative poem Elevated, grand styleGreat heroes and heroinesThe setting is vast in geographical rangeSupernatural power

  • Epic ConventionsThe theme is usually the adventure of a hero or a war.Invocate the Muses aid. (Calliope)Ask epic question(s).Begin with in medias res.Use epithets and similes.Gods interference in human affairs.

  • Mock EpicA work designed to ridicule attitudes, style, or subject matter by handling either an elevated subject in a trivial manner or a low subject with mock dignity (Karl 30).Renders a trivial subject ridiculous by treating it with the elaborate (Karl 31).Compare small things with something great.

  • Epic/ Mock Epic

    Traditional EpicThe Rape of the LockInvoke the aid of the muse: Calliope Say what strange motive, Goddess! Could compel (1. 7)Begin with in medias res NoGods are involvedSpirits (Sylphs, Gnomes, Nymphs) are involved

  • The Epic Question

    Among the gods, who brought this quarrel on? (Iliad)1 What dire offense from amorous causes springs, What mighty contests rise from trivial things,

    7 Say what strange motive, Goddess! Could compel A well-bred lord to assault a gentle belle? Oh, say what stranger cause, yet unexplored, Could make a gentle belle reject a lord? In tasks so bold can little men engage, And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage?

  • Homeric Simile

    Achilles, fast in battle as a lion.Hera, whose arms are white as ivory.Quick as her eyes (2. 10), Bright as the sun (2. 13), Shrink his thin essence like a riveled flower (2. 132), And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace (3. 98).

  • Homeric Epithet

    man-killer Hectorsharp-eyed HermesBolt-hurling ZeusFair nymphs, and well-dress'd youths around her shone (2. 5)The long-contended honours of her head (4.140)Why round our coaches crowd the white-glov'd beaux? (5. 13).

  • StructureHeroic couplet Rhymed in every two lines.

    Iambic pentameter Ten syllables in each line Alternate with stressed and unstressed syllables

  • Mock Epic

    Journey to the underworld The Cave of Spleen (ill nature of female hypochondriacs) (4. 1) Sacrifice offering to gods before an important war or journey Baron sacrifices his former love-token. (2.35)

  • Mock Epic

    BattleCliches, frowns and angry glances, snuff and bodkin. So spoke the dame, (5. 35). The card game (Ombre).Rape of the female chastityRape of a lock of hair


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