Rape of the Lock | Critical Analysis Rape of the Lock Line By Line | English Note ( Canto - 1)

    The Rape of the Lock , a mock Epic par excellence is the result of John carols request to to pope to write a poem that would help to laugh away a tiff (quarrel)between the Peters and Fermores. But in doing so Pope has increased the range of his vision and has given, as Dr. Johnson says, ' the whole detail of a  female day. This documentation, however is wholly subjective since it also encapsulates Pope's attitude towards 18 th century aristocratic women in general and Belinda in particular. 

Rape of the Lock | Critical Analysis Rape of the Lock Line By Line
Rape of the Lock

   Here some important lines are explained  from Canto 1 in The rape of the lock -  Lines No-1-30

 Line - 1-2

"what dire offense from am'orus, causes springs, what mighty contest from trivial things,"

    This quoted line is taken from The rape of the lock, is a mock heroic poem in pentameter couplet composed by Alexander pope in 1712.

    At the very beginning pope reported that entering human civilization centered with to Central occupation love and war and poet also says that all serious crime or fight Rises from the cause related to love. so in the first line Pope is comment on something that has interested the world eternally so here poet resurface the classical features in the the form of neoclassicism.

Line 3 - 4

" I sing - this Verse to caryll muse! Is due ; this, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view " 

    In this line poet introduces the from of mock epic. And here pope invokes John Caryll who was the the son of of Richard carroll of West Greenstate. He is the common friends of Alexander Pope and Mrs arabella farmor. Hair pop brings caryll in muse and muse in caryll so here poet brings mortal in immortal. And also Belinda agree to read this verse.

Line  5 - 6 

  "slight is the subject, but not so the praise, / if she inspire and he approve my lays."

    Here she is referred Belinda, The fictional character of MRS arabella fermor. The subject matter of the verse is tribal but the style of Epic is high and it is the form of high burlesque which indicates the low subject matters and high form.

  In this mock Epic the poet gives a perfect rendering of heroic couplet but the contents is trivial . That is why poet calls "slight is the subject".

Line 8 

    " A well- bred Lord t' assault a gentle Belle?"

     In the mock - heroic poem The Rape of the lock , at the social gatherings, the well-educated, Well-cultured Lord petre assault the gentle Belle. 
    Here 'Belle' is the beautiful lady Belinda who reject the proposal of Lord petre. 

Line 11-12

        " In Tasks so bold , can little men engage, 
           And in soft Bosoms dwells such mighty 
            Rage? "

    Here "tasks " is in form of plural as  two kind of tasks undertake by two different man, one is the task which the Pope undertake to write this mock epic for exposes the quarrel;  another one is the task which Barron undertake for Belinda. Here Pope said that he did not need moral courage to write this mock-epic because he is a man of high intellect. Poet also exaggerated Belinda that she has a soft -hearted women but the rage of like Achilles. 

Line 14 

       " And op'd those Eyes that must eclipse the Day;"

    Here the beautiful lady Belinda's eyes are spoken of. Pope describing her eyes such a powerful term and also said that her eye is such powerful that defeat the sun. Through the eye Pope presenta the natural beauty of Belinda and in literary term itnis known as 'epical beauty'.

Line 15

      "Now lapdogs give themselves the rowzing shake, "-who is shock in The Rape of the lock? 

    In Rape of the lock "shock " is the lapdog of the female protagonist Belinda. The shock or shough was a kind of lap-dog that to have been brought to England from Iceland. A description printed in I688 runs: ' an Island dog'.... Of a pretty bigness curled and rough all over, which by the reason of the length of their hair, make show neither of face, nor of body : these curls are much set by with lady's who usually wash comb and trim of all the hair of their hinder parts, leaving only the fore parts and hinder feet jagged. 

Line 17-18

      "Thrice rung the Bell, the slipper knocked the ground , 
          And in the press'd watch return'd  a silver sound. "

    Belinda rung a hand-bell which is not being answered  she knocked with her slipper. Bell -hanging was not introduced into our domestic apartments till long after 1790. Remember that it was still the practice for ladies to summon their attendents to their bedchambers by knocking with a high-heeled shoe. 

Line 20 

       "Her gurdian sylph prolong'd the balmy Rest. "- who was Belinda's " Gurdian sylph " and why? 

    In The Rape of the lock, the great verse satirist Alexander Pope portrays a picture of 18 th centuries fashionable aristocrats london society with the help of supernatural mechinary and sylph is a supernatural mechinary who is protector of Belinda.  The gurdian sylph of Belinda is Ariel. 

    Belinda , a very beautiful girl with a vacant brain and she did not know how she protect herself in dread event and also the aristocrat youth in the contemporary society . Even she did not know how she looks more charmful and beautiful. As Ariel is the leader of sylph so she instructs Belinda for all of these. Therefore Ariel is the gurdian sylph of Belinda.  

Line 22

     "A youth more glitt'ring than a Birth- night Beau"-  who is a birth-night beau in The Rape of the lock? 

    In 18th century the Royal birthday party with ball dance arranged in night. And in this party the youth of the contemporary society presents them with well-being dressed up and they looked excellent in artistic way. Among all the youth who looks beautiful the youth is called 'birth - night Beau'.

Line 32

       "The silver token, and the circled Green, 
         Or virgins visited by Angel-pow'rs"-Explain the popular belief behind the phrases 'silver token' and 'circled green'.

    'Silver token' refers the silver pennies put at night by the fairies into the slippers of maids who kept the house clean. And 'circled Green' means the circles of darker grass, caused by a fungus. This was the lore taught by angel powers. And this two are vision as vision was constructed by someone else at the time of infant so it was seen all class of societies, it is the element of popular culture. 


  "The light militia of the lower sky;"-what is the 'light militia' of the lower sky in The Rape Of the Lock ?

   In the rape of the lock 'Militia' means airy Army in the contemporary society the Bodyguard of England king known as Militia. Here pope compares the sylph to Militia who lives in the air and protect the beautiful lady Belinda. So here light Militia suggest the brightest airy - army those who never unseen.

             "The light militia of the lower Sky

               These, tho' unseen are ever on the wing".

"Hang over the box and hover round the ring" - what is the 'Box' and what is 'Ring' in The rape of the lock?

    In the Rape of the Lock here 'Box' is something that content in the wedding ring and 'Box' also present the reserved seat for the aristocrat of theatre in the contemporary society. And 'Ring' present the marking use of the stage.

What is an Equipage in the 'Rape of the Lock'?

    In the Rape of the lock an Equipage is a airy - vehicle which is a carriage and horses with attendant footmen. Their extravagance had been censured in tatler and Spector. And the sylphs are ride in the the vehicle.

 'Think what an equipage thou hast in air'

Whom does  the poet referred to as "Doubting Wits"   in the Rape of the Lock?

   In the Rape of the lock 'Doubting Wits' referred a knowledgeable person. The poet presents the man by referring his quality and its called 'syn-ec-do-che'. So here 'Doubting wits' is a syn-ec-do-che and it is also a bibrical allusion. 

          "What tho' no credit Doubting wits may give ?"

Explain what the poet means by the Daring Spark in the Rape of the lock?

    In the contemporary society or 18 century in England royal birthday party arranged in the night and there the aristocratic societies men went for enjoy and the 'Daring Spark' is a kind of youth who are very bold in front of a girl like Belinda in the birthday party.

           'Safe from trach'rous friend, the daring spark.'

Who is 'Florio' in the Rape of the Lock?

    In the Rape of The Lock, England's 18 centuries birthday party with ball dance arranged in the night and there some youth and women attend. Florio is a youth who attend the royal birthday party and he has excellent speaking power and  when he speak no girl could stand and he is also a handsome youth.

"When Florio speaks, what virgin coud withstand."

What are the cosmetic powers in the rape of the lock

    In the mock Epic The Rape of the Lock poet also presents the toilet scene of Belinda the  beautiful girl. As cosmic power will help a human being to be transferred from human being to superior or goddess. Here cosmetic power is Belinda's cosmic power which helps Belinda to transform and the transform makes her very beautiful that becoming that of an Epic protagonist.

What does 'Trembling' means in the Rape of the Lock?

    In the Rape of the Lock, Betty who is inferior priestes is Trembling because of supernatural afflication at the temple of Delphi while worshiping.

What does soft transition mean in the Rape of the Lock?

    In the Rape of the lock the word 'Soft Transition' means death. Here sylphs, the Supernatural mechinery uses the wortd soft transition and present the idea of free; when the soft transition happen the human being freed from mortal law and a human have no biological identity.Sylphs also repaired by their soft transition.

        "Thence by a soft transition, we repair."

"Warn'd by thy sylph, oh pious maid beware"
            Why is Belinda call pious maid in the mock heroic poem "Rape of the Lock"  ?

    This a satire because she have done no act of piety. This is also a horetian satire because pope through this satire highlight Belinda as a 'pious' simply because she has no act of piously on her part. Pope rather mocks her for avoiding God's grace all together therefore pope calls her pious lady .