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Alexander Pope's 'The Rape of the Lock'

Uploaded by mamuna gul on Apr 23, 2005


Literature reflects the age in which it is written. This is very much true in the case of the poetry of the Augustan Period. Alexander Pope is the gem of the Augustan Age. Pope is not only recognized as a great comic writer but also as a creative artist. The man who created the fine ‘’filigree work’’ – The Rape Of The Lock- out of a trivial tempest in the teacup cannot be denied the status of a creative artist.
Pope said; ‘The proper study of mankind is man’. But it was mankind as seen only in the small society of a city- mankind in London and in literary London.
Pope is a protagonist of a whole age of an attitude of mind of a manner of writing. He has given in a single work the optimum expression to the social and moral manners and literary taste of an age. Pope’smagnum opus,’The Rape of the Lock’ is the best satirical picture of contemporary society in which he has presented the namby pamby foppishness, gay frivolities, fashions and amorous adventures of the fashionable ladies of the bon ton.’ The Rape of the Lock’ is a tableau vivant of a society where ‘At every word a reputation dies’. The whole panorama is limited to the eighteenth century aristocratic life. It is a mirror in a drawing room, but it gave back a faithful image of society. ‘Here thou great Anna whom three realms obey, /Dost sometimes counsel take- and sometimes tea’.
Pope shared with other cultivated Englishmen of the early eighteenth century a sense of being ‘Augustens’. Augusten literature not only speaks to but also depicts ordinary citizens, their values and mores, their follies and foibles, prides and prejudices. The public they addressed consisted of politicians, energetic merchants and citizens, priests and gentlemen, men of the professions and ladies of fashion.
The aristocracy of the 18 the century was a parvenu. Having suddenly emerged out of the commercial prosperity of England, were primarily urban people, who with a sudden flow of money from trade and commerce, became mad. They were basically luxury-loving people enjoying life in idle fun and frolic and measuring it out with coffee spoons.
The ladies of the bon ton coddled their lovers as they did their lap dogs for the sake of fashion. The women’s madness for artificialities for pomp and for show is also reflected in Ariel’s speech;
‘‘Think not when...

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Uploaded by:   mamuna gul

Date:   04/23/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (771 words)

Views:   5656

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