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“The Rape of the Lock”. By: Alexander Pope. I CAN… Define a mock epic. Identify and explain qualities of a mock epic in my reading. Define parody. Understand how parody and mock epic work together. Define and identify antithesis . Standard/Objective. A mock epic is…

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“The Rape of the Lock”


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the rape of the lock

“The Rape of the Lock”

By: Alexander Pope

standard objective

I CAN…

  • Define a mock epic.
  • Identify and explain qualities of a mock epic in my reading.
  • Define parody.
  • Understand how parody and mock epic work together.
  • Define and identify antithesis.
Standard/Objective
mock epic

A mock epic is…

a comic narrative poem that uses parody and dignified language.

A mock epic is funny when…

the trivial subject is treated as grand and lofty!

Making something huge out of something small.

Mock Epic
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Background

“The Rape of the Lock” can actually be reworded to simply mean:

The violent theft of a lock of hair.

Who committed the real-life theft? He is known as the baron in the story.

Robert, Lord Petre p. 526

Who was the damsel in distress? Known as Belinda in the story.

ArabellaFermor p. 526

The Rape of the Lock
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Pope treated the ‘rape’ of this lock very seriously so that…

To make the families realize how trivial the scenario actually is.

A mock epic is…

a comic narrative poem that uses parody, dignified language, supernatural intervention, and exaggeration.

The Rape of the Lock
antithesis

An Antithesis is…

  • parallel structure that used to present a balanced contrast.
  • contradictory actions that work together for a unified description.
  • utilizes juxtaposition in parallel structure of the same sentence.
Antithesis:
antithesis1

Some examples:

  • "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.“
  • "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”Tale of Two Cities
  • "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."(Martin Luther King, Jr., speech at St. Louis, 1964)
Antithesis…
characters

Belinda – protagonist and a caricature of the socialite, ArabellaFermor

  • The Baron – young admirer of Belinda, a caricature of Lord Petre. He is the main antagonist and the culprit who cut the lock of hair.
  • Ariel – Belinda’s guardian sylph. “In magical literature, the name is used for a spirit that controls the elements or planets” (Pope).
  • Clarissa - she gives the Baron the pair of scissors
  • Umbriel – Sprite who enters the cave of the Queen of Spleen to seek help
  • Queen of Spleen – Underworld goddess who gives Umbriel gifts for Belinda
Characters
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The Story…

Canto 1: Not included in your text.

Begins with an invocation of a female Muse – the muse of poets and artists. However, Pope makes his joking intentions clear in the first couplet by writing,

“What dire offense from amorous causes springs,

What mighty contests rise from trivial things,

I sing—”

Meaning…How serious fights are caused by trivial things.

The Rape of the Lock
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Canto II also not included in your text

Belinda and her friends take a boat up the Thames to a party. Everyone there admires her two beautiful curled locks, and the Baron determines to possess them.

The Rape of the Lock
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Canto III in your text on page 527

1. Setting: Hampton Court near the Thames River.

2. They are having coffee and talking about others and gossip.

3. He uses the Greek story, Scylla’s to give credibility as he prepares to mock the families.

4. Clarissa gave the Baron the scissors.

5. The sprites tried to protect her hair.

6. They are unable to protect her hair because in her heart, she wants the Baron to succeed in cutting her hair.

7. He is excited, “the glorious prize is mine!”

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Canto IV pg. 530

Setting: Hades (the underworld), Cave of Spleen, Hampton Court; Virgil– Aeneas travel to Hades

8. Umbriel, a sprite, goes to the Cave of Spleen and collects a bag of tears. She returns to Hampton Court to sprinkle the tears on Belinda and her girlfriend.

9. A spleen is a depression, or rich, idle people

10. Belinda then laments and cries over the cruelty of the Baron. This is an exaggeration. Trivial nature of problems of the wealthy.

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Canto V

11. Pope compares the minor argument to a war.

12. The attack and/or battle begins with Belinda throwing ‘snuff’ at the Baron’s face in order to make him sneeze. Then she draws her deadly hair pin (bodkin) on the Baron.

13. The Baron confesses he loves her and death only means he leaves her behind.

14. Belinda does not change her feelings for him.

Pope then mocks the power of the lock.

15.The lock goes flying through the air like a comet from Heaven. In mourning the lost hair, Belinda’s name will now be in the stars.

Pope does allude to Othello… classic tale of murder and betrayal.

The Rape of the Lock
standard objective1

I CAN…

  • Define a mock epic.
  • Identify and explain qualities of a mock epic in my reading.
  • Define parody.
  • Understand how parody and mock epic work together.
  • Define and identify antithesis.
Standard/Objective