An Analysis Of Alexander Pope's 'Rape Of The Locke'

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Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Locke" is a complex piece of literature that comments on the foolish mindsets of the nobility, notably: the foolishness of placing supreme value on physical beauty. Pope communicates this view in a variety of ways, but it is made most visible when observing language and form. Pope uses concise and intentional naming, structure, and contrasting language to showcase that placing ultimate value on physical beauty leads only to death and despair; this is clearly showcased in canto five lines sixty-one through sixty-four. To begin, it is important to notice the names that Pope assigns in this passage: Dapperwit and Sir Fopling. The name Dapperwit is created through the enjambment of the words dapper and wit. According to the…show more content…
Dapperwit represents someone who understands the foolishness of placing supreme value on physical beauty yet finds themselves doing it anyway. As he falls to the ground in defeat he states "…A living death I bear…" (Rape of the Locke, 567). The "living death" that Dapperwit bears is realizing his foolishness in being captivated by the woman's physical features despite the knowledge that it will hurt him in the end. The next character introduced is Sir Fopling. Fop is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "A foolish person; a fool" (Oxford English Dictionary, 2018). Sir Fopling contrasts with Dapperwit with his views on the importance of beauty. Sir Fopling represents someone who values physical beauty above everything else, devoting a part of his life to learning proper ways to compliment it. This mode of

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