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The Rape of the Lock – Does Pope Portray Belinda as a Goddess?

The Rape of the Lock portrays the modern world of the early eighteenth century London, and its title webpage describes it as a heroic-comical poem. Pope remarks that “the use of pompous language for minimal actions is the perfection of the mock-epic.” The mock-heroic is singularly productive in exposing the follies of the trendy culture with out betrayal of rancour.

Lord Petre experienced, in an amorous prank, slice off a lock of hair of a modern society splendor, Pass up Arabella Fermor, to her good indignation. Out of this trivial incident, Pope helps make an epic with Invocation, supernatural machinery, battles, and other epic paraphernalia. The Invocation is the typical epic tackle to the Muse

Say, what bizarre motive, Goddess! Could compel

A perfectly-bred lord to assault a mild belle.

What was simply a social frivolity has obtained the lofty observe of a classical epic. The slight digress staying that whereas the environment of epic poems was predominantly masculine, the entire world of the mock-epic The Rape of the Lock is feminine. The location is the trendy London modern society of the Augustan Age. The heroine, who is a form rather than a illustration of Pass up Fermor herself, is Belinda.

Her day starting up at all-around midday, gives the poem its standard structure – her desire ahead of waking, her toilet, her cruise up the Thames to Hampton Court docket, her card match, the outrageous clipping of her lock of hair, her hysterics, and the closing battle to get better the lock.

Belinda is continuously as opposed to the sunshine. This implies her brilliance and splendor as the central and focal place of her little world. It also suggests normal munificence on her part, simply because, like the solar, her eyes “glow on all alike”. It means either that she is shallow and flirtatious, or that she distributes her largess impartially like a fantastic prince.

The exaltation of Belinda into anything a lot more than mortal is also viewed when she is at her toilet, which seems to parody a religious ritual. The dressing table is a kind of altar on which the cosmetic pots are established out like sacred vessels. At to start with, Belinda the nymph is like a priestess, robed in white worshipping the “beauty powers” as she bends to her different things of make-up. Then it is her possess “heavenly image” in the mirror which gets the goddess, the item of her idolatrous worship. Ultimately, Belinda herself is unabashedly referred to as a “goddess”, arming for struggle.

There is a comedian component in the elevation of the make-up method into a religious ceremony, and the ridiculous conglomeration of the objects on the dressing table

“Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux”.

In Belinda’s scale of values the things (including Bibles) are of about equal relevance. Plainly there is a social criticism below, but there is also a feeling of fascination and, without a doubt, admiration for Belinda.

Belinda is, in some sense, a goddess, the personification of Beauty. And, in retaining with this watch, her ravished lock attains immortality by being remodeled into a shining star in the heavens. Yet, at a range of destinations she is fewer than a goddess, inasmuch as she is topic to human constraints. So, she fails to foresee and to foretell the ravishment of her lock, and also fails to recover her lock even after her victory in the struggle. Additionally, she is subject to outdated age and dying like mortals, though she is promised poetic immortality by Pope. Belinda’s position, as to no matter if she has been portrayed as a goddess or not, is ambiguous, and the problem admits of no categorical response.