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The Rape of the Lock. Comparison between «The Rape of the Lock» and today’s advertisements. The rape of the lock. Mock-heroic poem written by A. Pope; Organization: five Cantos; Aim: criticism of lifestyle of aristocracy, that gives importance to useless things (such as cosmetics);

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The Rape of the Lock


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    1. The Rape of the Lock Comparison between «The Rape of the Lock» and today’s advertisements

    2. The rape of the lock • Mock-heroic poem written by A. Pope; • Organization: five Cantos; • Aim: criticism of lifestyle of aristocracy, that gives importance to useless things (such as cosmetics); • Plot: quarrel between two aristocratic families because Lord Petre cut off a lock of Arabella’s hair without her permission.

    3. Cantos I (1-28) And now, unveiled, the Toilet stands displayed, Each silver vase in mystic order laid. First, robed in white, the Nymph intent adores, With head uncovered, the Cosmetic powers. A heavenly Image in the glass appears, To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears; The inferior Priestess, at her altar's side, Trembling, begins the sacred rites of Pride. Unnumbered treasures ope at once, and here The various offerings of the world appear; From each she nicely culls with curious toil, And decks the Goddess with the glittering spoil. This casket India's glowing gems unlocks, And all Arabia breathes from yonder box. The tortoise here and elephant unite, Transformed to combs, the speckled and the white. Here files of pins extend their shining rows, Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux. Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms; The fair each moment rises in her charms, Repairs her smiles, awakens every grace, And calls forth all the wonders of her face; Sees by degrees a purer blush arise, And keener lightnings quicken in her eyes. The busy sylphs surround their darling care, These set the head, and those divide the hair, Some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown; And Betty's praised for labours not her own.

    4. Main features of lines 1-28 (Cantos I) • Gap between the things described and the language used; • Semantic fields: military, economic to speak about Belinda’s wakening  the text seems ridiculous; • Aristocracy is criticized through their attention to useless things and Belinda’s beauty, which is artificial, not natural.

    5. Comparison with today’s cosmetic advertisements

    6. SIMILARITIES • Cosmetics are considered something which allows you to be perfect: - text: cosmetics are precious treasures (they come from India, Arabia..) and Belinda is considered a nymph, a Goddess (line 3-9-12-13-14) you becomes fast divine - photo: 16 hours of the silkiest most flawless perfection the product gives you a different physical appearance from reality. - video: the product allows you to look younger • Exaggerations and hyperboles in order to reach the aim. • Beauty is artificial, not natural materialistic point of view.

    7. DIFFERENCES • The aim of the language used and hyperboles are different: - text: they are used to ridicule aristocracy and to criticize their lifestyle; - photo and video: they are used in order to convince people to buy the products. The reason is that nowadays beauty is very important and everybody wants to appear more wonderful and perfect. Therefore cosmetics are considered a way to reach physical perfection.