Analysis Of Alexander Crehan's The Rape Of The Lock

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Is there a tension between ‘decorum’ and ‘wit’ in the literature of the early eighteenth century? Alexander Popes intention when writing The Rape of the Lock was to highlight the trivial hollowness that encapsulated the men and women of the early eighteenth century, it appeared to be an age where the upper-class revelled in luxurious objects, social leisure and maintaining calm and decorum seemed to be the sole purpose of the upper-class. However, the rich fell short of valuing central issues of the eighteenth century and seemed to have forgotten what really mattered, something Pope found amusing and unethical. Crehan writes ‘part of its critique is to show how, when relations between people have turned into relations between things. ’ Using…show more content…
Most epic poems begin with the introduction to Gods, Goddesses and Muses, for example in ‘The Faeire Queen’ Urania the goddess of poetry aids Spencer. Which is discordant with The Rape of the Lock that has the vein, fashionable Belinda as its protagonist. This disrupts and mocks the decorum of the eighteenth century as the cutting of Belinda’s hair is incomparable to the subject matters of great epic poems. Crehan states ‘mighty contests rise not from human passions, but from trivial things ’ Pope therefore using wit to highlight the pettiness of the…show more content…
Howard Erskine supports this notion, writing ‘The poem is contrived to remind us of the historical and political matters; the heroicomical focus on Belinda’s small world is so managed as to allude to a larger world of state ’ The satire of the mock epic relies partly upon a certain difference between the speaker and the poet and the naive speaker in The Rape of the Lock is infatuated with Belinda unlike Pope himself. The speaker uses classical allusions and extravagant language to define Belinda and the events that occur without the speaker themselves realising how absurd the ‘scandal’ is. However, the relationship between the speaker and the poet diverts at the very end of the poem, as the speaker begins to praise the poem itself. “When those fair Suns shall set, as set they
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