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The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope. About Alexander Pope. ※Born in a Catholic family Suffered from prejudices Educated in Twyford. ※Moved to Binfield in 1700 Self-taught: “did nothing but read and write” Suffered from ill health: tuberculosis, asthma, and headaches.

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about alexander pope
About Alexander Pope

※Born in a Catholic

family

  • Suffered from prejudices
  • Educated in Twyford
about alexander pope1
※Moved to Binfield in 1700

Self-taught: “did nothing but read and write”

Suffered from ill health: tuberculosis, asthma, and headaches

About Alexander Pope
about alexander pope2
About Alexander Pope

※Moved to Binfield in 1700

  • Humpbacked and deformed
about alexander pope3
※Published An Essay on Criticism in 1711

First striking success as a poet

※Made friends with Jonathan Swift and John Gay

About Alexander Pope
about alexander pope4
※Published 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
about alexander pope5
About Alexander Pope

※ Expanded “The Rape of the Lock” in 1714

(five cantos)

  • A quarrel between two families

◎ Characters:

  • Lord Petre :Baron
  • Miss Arabella Fermor: Belinda
about alexander pope6
◎Background:

John Caryll’s suggestion to “pour poetic oils on these troubled waters” or

Hope that “a little laughter might serve to soothe ruffled tempers.”

◎Pope’s purpose:

Do not worry about trivial things!

About Alexander Pope
about alexander pope7
About Alexander Pope

※Translated Iliad and Odyssey into English

  • The first man to prove “Literature can raise writers.”
about alexander pope8
※Published The Dunciad in 1728

Became professional satirist

“Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep”

About Alexander Pope
canto 1
Belinda awakes from sleeping

The dream of Belinda

Belinda prepares for the day’s social activities

Canto 1
canto 2
The travel on the Thames river

The prayer of the young adventurer Baron

The Sylphs’ mission to “tend the Fair”—to protect Belinda

Brillante—the earrings

Chrispissa—the locks

Ariel—Shock, Belinda’s lapdog

Momentilla—the watch

fifty chosen Sylphs—the petticoat

Canto 2
canto 4
Belinda’s Ill-Natured mood and Affection after the loss of the lock

Umbriel, the earthy gnome, descends to the Cave of Spleen

Thalestris’ speech rouses the rage of Belinda

Sir Plume bids in vain the payment of the lock

Canto 4
canto 5
Clarissa’s speech

The battle of belles and beaux

The lock rises to the heaven and becomes a star

Canto 5
writing style
Epic

Mock epic

Structure

Writing Style
epic the characteristics
A long narrative poem

Elevated, grand style

Great heroes and heroines

The setting is vast in geographical range

Supernatural power

Epic, the Characteristics
epic conventions
The theme is usually the adventure of a hero or a war.

Invocate the Muse’s aid. (Calliope)

Ask epic question(s).

Begin with inmedias res.

Use epithets and similes.

Gods’ interference in human affairs.

Epic Conventions
mock epic
A 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.

Mock Epic
structure
Heroic couplet

Rhymed in every two lines.

Iambic pentameter

Ten syllables in each line

Alternate with stressed and unstressed syllables

Structure
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