Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Rape of the Lock

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope
By: (1688-1744)

"The Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope is a witty and satirical poem that explores the triviality of social conventions and the superficiality of human vanity. The poem tells the story of a young woman whose Lock of hair is stolen by a Baron, leading to a grand battle of wits and etiquette within the upper-class society of 18th-century England.

Pope's clever use of mock-epic style creates a sense of grandeur and drama around the seemingly frivolous event, highlighting the absurdity of the characters' actions and values. The poem's rhyming couplets and elevated language add to its comedic effect, making it a joy to read and analyze.

Through his depiction of characters like Belinda, the Baron, and the Sylphs, Pope satirizes the vanity, pettiness, and obsession with social status that were prevalent in his time. The poem serves as a commentary on the shallow nature of human interactions and the fleeting nature of beauty and youth.

Overall, "The Rape of the Lock" is a brilliant and entertaining work that showcases Pope's wit, intellect, and skill as a poet. It is a timeless satire that continues to resonate with readers today, offering a sharp critique of societal norms and human behavior.

Book Description:
The Rape of the Lock is a mock-heroic narrative poem written by Alexander Pope, first published anonymously in Lintot's Miscellany in May 1712 in two cantos (334 lines), but then revised, expanded and reissued under Pope's name on March 2, 1714, in a much-expanded 5-canto version (794 lines). The final form was available in 1717 with the addition of Clarissa's speech on good humour. The poem satirizes a petty squabble by comparing it to the epic world of the gods. It was based on an incident recounted by Pope's friend, John Caryll. Arabella Fermor and her suitor, Lord Petre, were both from aristocratic recusant Catholic families at a period in England when under such laws as the Test Act, all denominations except Anglicanism suffered legal restrictions and penalties (for example Petre could not take up his place in the House of Lords as a Catholic). Petre, lusting after Arabella, had cut off a lock of her hair without permission, and the consequent argument had created a breach between the two families. Pope, also a Catholic, wrote the poem at the request of friends in an attempt to "comically merge the two." He utilized the character Belinda to represent Arabella and introduced an entire system of "sylphs," or guardian spirits of virgins, a parodized version of the gods and goddesses of conventional epic.

Stream audiobook and download chapters

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books