Rape of the Lock Questions and Answers Pdf Download
Short Essay Type Questions with Answers
Q. 1. Comment on Belinda’s morning rituals.
Describe Belinda’s toilet scene.
Ans. In the dressing table scene in Canto-I, we see Belinda’s beauty both as mere ornamentation governed by pride and as the realisation of genuine aesthetic ordering. The worship before the mirror of the cosmetic powers produces the appearance of Belinda wishes to have and which she further adorns, her maid assisting ‘the sacred rites of pride. ‘The spacious world can enter Belinda’s dressing room only in a serviceable and diminished form. Arabia is compressed into its perfume; the unwieldy elephant and tortoise are transformed into the elegance of shell and ivory combs. The condensation of the vast into small is at once reversed: the pins extend into shining rows or files of soldiers, and Belinda becomes the epic hero investing herself in armour as well as the god-like “awful beauty”. Here is the triumph of art. “Belinda calls forth all the wonders of her face” and gives them realisation with her cosmetic skill. She is the mistress of the “bidden blush” but also the culmination of nature.
Q. 2. Describe the responsibilities of various sylphs as are given by Ariel to them.
Ans. Ariel calls upon different sylphs to assume different responsibilities. Zephyretta is to take care of Belinda’s fluttering fan. Brillante is to guard Belinda’s diamond eardrops. Momentilla is to protect Belinda’s watch. Crispissa will guard Belinda’s favourite lock of hair. The names of the sylphs have been coined by Pope so as to suit the responsibilities entrusted to them. Zephyretta is coined from the word “Zephyrus” which means a gentle breeze or wind. Appropriately enough Zephyretta will look after Belinda’s handfan. Brillante derived from the word “Brilliant” which refers to glitter of the diamond eardrops. Momentilla is from the word “momentum” which means a small particle of time, and this sylph is to look after the time-keeping watch. Crispissa is from the word “crispus” which means crisp or curled. Accordingly, this sylph will guard Belinda’s favourite lock of hair. Ariel himself undertakes to protect Shock, the lap-dog. Being the leader of the sylphs. Ariel will look after a highly prized possession of Belinda. To married women, their pet dogs were perhaps dearer than their husbands.
Q. 3. Comment on the punishments allotted by Ariel for the sylphs who will prove to be negligent to their duties.
Ans. Ariel describes the punishments to which the sylphs will be subjected if they are slack in the performance of the duties which have been allotted to them. But even this account of the punishments to which the sylphs will be liable has a satirical intent in so far as the poet makes mocking references to the various items of a fashionable lady’s elaborate toilet. The erring or careles, sylphs will be imprisoned in small bottles (which contains perfumes) or pierced through and held fast with pins (which the ladies uses to keep their dresses in position). Such sylphs will be plunged in huge quantities of bitter lotions which ladies use to beautify their skin. They will be held prisoners for very long periods in the narrow holes of needles or ladies’ hair-pins. They will be prevented from flying by sticking paints which ladies apply to their faces and the fragrant grease which they apply to their hair. They will be dipped in applications made of alum with its power to make the skin tissues shrink, and in these applications the airy bodies of the sylphs will contract and wither . Or, the offending sylphs will be tied to the whirling wheels of the chocolate mill which the ladies turn in grinding coco-seeds in order to obtain coco. There these sylphs will be held fast, as Ixion was held fast by a wheel in hell, so that they will feel dizzy because of the rotator motion. Or, they will be thrust into the hot vapour rising from the boiling chocolate and they will tremble with horror when they look at the seething foam from which the vapour rises.
Q. 4. Discuss The Rape of the Lock as a mock -heroic poem.
Ans. Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock is an excellent example of a mock-epic. Taking the entire piece, it becomes an epic poem in miniature, if every action is taken at face value. But if everything is conceptualized through comedy, then the mocking aspect can be seen. Canto One includes many of the traditional elements of an epic, but the comic aspect is also present. By examining the various epic conventions and epic machinery that Pope uses in this canto, the poem can be assessed as a mock-epic.
Epic conventions are known as such because they have been included in the works historically known as epics, such as Homer’s The Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. All of these works had protagonists that were of historical significance: Achilles, Aeneas, and Adam and Eve. Pope’s protagonist is notable for her beauty, but Belinda of historical note. Yet she is treated with the same reverence as the aforementioned characters. Another convention is the inclusion of supernatural beings. In The Iliad and Aeneid, these were the Greek gods; in Paradise Lost, God and the Devil. The Rape of the Lock has its own supernatural creatures, but these are by no means on the scale of Zeus and Poseidon, who ruled the heavens and the seas; instead, the sylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and salamanders that run the show are fairy-like incarnations of coquettish, prudish, yielding, and shrewish women, respectively. Rather than take charge of an entire sky or ocean, these creatures are charged with protecting Belinda’s diamond earrings or petticoat. Yet another epic convention that Pope uses is the traditional arming of the heroes. For Homer, this was a catalogue of ships and armor that comprised all of Book Two. Canto One includes this ritual as Belinda is given her combs and pins. The used by Pope are the traditional epic conventions, only inverted to produce a comedic effect.
Pope uses epic machinery in much the same way. The very first two lines posit the epic argument and questions: “What dire offense from amorous causes springs,/ What mighty contests rise from trivial things.” This is akin to Milton’s epic question at the beginning of Paradise Lost: “Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit/Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste/ Brought death into the world, and all our woe,” because it alludes to the story that is about to be told and even why the story is worth telling at all. The next line in Pope’s poem also conforms to the epic machinery of appealing to a muse. Pope dedicates his poem to John Caryll, a friend of his that had suggested he write it. Likewise, The Iliad begins with a request for the goddess to sing of Achilles’ rage. Pope uses another typical machinery to make a comic reference to the epic in Canto One when he begins at the beginning of the day, when Belinda is still asleep. Epics generally begin in medias res, and Pope’s action to the contrary once again draws attention to the differences between his poem and a real epic.
The epic conventions and machinery that Pope uses in The Rape of the lock serve to heighten the mock-epic aspects of the poem. While the other Cantos and general elements of the story itself can serve to illustrate the mock-epic nature of the poem, the various actions and injunctions of Canto One best portray the reasons that The Rape of the Lock is considered a classic mock-epic poem.
5. Discuss The Rape of the Lock as a social satire.
Ans. It is well known to all that Pope is a poet of society and “The Rape of the Lock” is one of his best social documentary creations where he has shown the activities of contemporary society and it also plays as the mirror of that society because different types of things of the society are reflected here in the symbolic way.
– Poetic satire may be regarded as didactic poetry or the object. Most of the people think that satire is the criticism of life and an exposure of human weaknesses, follies, absurdities and shortcomings. The satirist uses humor, wit, mockery, ridiculę and irony to achieve his goal – his moral end.
The whole prospect of “The Rape of the Lock” revolves around the false standard of 18th century. Pope caricatures the young girls and boys, aristocratic women and men, their free time activities, nature of husbands and wives, the professional judges and politicians of the day.
By the character of Belinda Pope has shown us the style of the artistic family of that age. Here we have observed that the whole life of Belinda is confined to sleeping, make-up, enjoyment and alluring the lords and there is no inspirational element in her life. This life is marked by ill-nature, affection, mischievousness, coquetry, yielding and submissive nature, fierce and unruly nature, infidelity, cheapness, meanness, trivialities and frivolities etc. Belinda represents all the fashion struck women, busy in such stupidities.
The satire in the Rape of the Lock is directed not against any individual, but against the follies and vanities in general of fashionable men and women, Pope has started writing this poem to reconcile two quarreling families but as the poem progressed and he has forgotten his original intention and satirized female follies and vanities. Belinda is not Arabella Fermore. She is the type of the fashionable ladies of the time and in her the follies and frivolities of the whole sex is satirized.
Pope satirizes man’s nature and it is always weak at beauty. Men sacrifice everything at the altar of beauty and even the most intelligent man behaves foolishly when he fall a victim to beauty.
According to the concept of Pope, man’s favorite activity is to take suffered women to play with fan. There is singing, dancing, laughing, ogling, etc. and nothing else where women are always busy alluring the dukes and lords. The poet again reflects the hollowness of men in the character of Sir Plume who is coward, foolish and senseless, lacking courage. Women are on the whole irresolute and they have made toyshops of their hearts.
Pope also satirizes of the husbands and wives of the day. It is true that husbands always suspect their wives and they think that their wives have been merry making with their lovers. It is also true that wives are not virtuous at all for their husbands because they love their lap-dogs more than their husbands. And the death of husbands is not more shocking than the death of a lap dog or the breakage of a china vessel.
So it can be said the poem is a reflection of this artificial and-hollow life, which is painted with a humorous and delicate satire. Pope’s satire is not only intellectual but also full of wit and epigram. It also paints the ideal life of the pleasure-seeking young men and women. So, we are introduced to a world of fashion and frivolities by it.
Q. 6. Examine Pope’s use of Machinery of the Supernatural in The Rape of the Lock.
. Ans. In his dedicatory letter to Miss Arabella Fermore, Pope writes “The machinery, Madam is a term invented by the critic to signify that part which the Deities, Angels and Demons are made to act in a poem”. From the ancient epics like The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, The Paradise Lost, The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, we find God and Goddesses intervening in human affair. When the first edition consisting two cantos was brought out in 1712, it had no elements of supernatural machinery. But Pope wanted to make the resemblance of his poem to a complete epic,
Pope borrowed his supernatural machinery from two sources. He took the name of Ariel from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the idea of the sylphs from a French book Le Comte de Gabalis by Abb-de-Villars. It has an account Rosicrucian mythology of spirits. According to the mythology, the four elements are inhabited by spirits, which are called sylphs (air), gnomes (earth), nymphs (water) and salamanders (fire). Pope mixed it with Platonic conception that soul never dies, but continues to live on in a changed form as spirits. Thus Pope’s sylphs are the souls of beautiful women, still having many of their former vanities and frivolities.
the Ariel, the leader of all the
spirits, has warned Belinda of her impending disaster:
“Fairest of mortals, thou distinguished care of thousand bright inhabitants of air!” again in the lines we get:
“Know then, unnumbered spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky.”
Therefore, Ariel assigns different works to the spirits when Belinda joins the fashionable band. One was given the charge of Belinda’s fan, another was to take care of Belinda’s ear-rings, the third was to take care of her watch, and the fourth was to gourd her favourite lock. Ariel was to take charge of her dog, Shock. The important duty of guarding the petticoat was given to fifty chosen sylphs. Ariel warned the pygmy band of spirits against negligence of their duties. Punishment was to be given to those who failed to perform their duties according to their nature and size.
The sylphs are diminutive airy spirits having “Insects wings”. They assume either sex when required. The sylphs have the power to see into the future. Therefore Ariel knows that some disaster threatens the “brightest fair’ (Belinda). But the exact nature of the disaster was not known to them. They look into the hearts of mortals. They perform services of all kind for the fair sexes. Thus Ariel withdraws helplessly as soon as he sees an earthly lover lurking in the heart of Belinda. The sylphs remain helpless and do not affect anything in the poem because Belinda does not follow the advice of Ariel. can v can
Pope’s object in introducing supernatural machinery to heighten mockheroic effect of the poem and the same time tends it more impersonal in tone and so less distasteful the Fermor family. This help converting a mere personal squib into a masterly and playful satire upon the follies and frivolities of the fashionable young ladies and beaux of his time.
Addison, a reputed essayist of the 18th century advised him against the introduction of the machinery in a long narrative poem like The Rape of the Lock. George Holden in his famous book, The Age of Pope, points out, “It is Pope’s use of his machinery, moreover, which more than any other single feature made the poem the single success that it is.” In the ultimate analysis, Pope’s machinery remains a sure proof of his artistic excellence.
Q. 7. Discuss the the Game of Ombre in ‘The Rape of the Lock’ .
Ans. Pope describes the Game of Ombre in Canto-III. Hands in Rape of the Lock (with guesses for the lower cards), listed in order played:
Belinda’s Bid: Solo in color (5 tricks solo with spades as trump) Belinda Baron Sir Anonyme
ace of spades (Spadilla) four of spades six of spades two of spades (Manilla) five of spades three of spades ace of clubs (Basta) seven of spades* two of hearts** king of spades knave of spades three of hearts
king of clubs queen of spades knave of clubs
six of diamonds king of diamonds seven of diamonds
queen of clubs queen of diamonds four of hearts
queen of hearts knave of diamonds six of hearts
king of hearts ace of hearts*** knave of
hearts *a spade must be played here because Basta counts as a trump **devoid of trump, he can throw off anything ***lower than the king, queen and kņave
a Ombreis a game of cards derived from Spain and very popular in Queen Anne’s time. For a full description, see Poems of Alexander Pope (G. Tillotson, ed.), 361-68. Belinda and her two opponents held nine cards each. The three highest were called matadores (Spanish matador, slayer). Belinda, being the “ombre” and therefore having the right to declare the trump, made it spades. In this case the three matadores were, in order of importance, the ace of spades (Spadillio), the deuce of spades (Manillio) and the ace of clubs (Basto). Belinda took the first four tricks by leading, successively, her three matadores and the king of spades. In the last of these she took the knave (jack) of spades and the knave of clubs, which in the game of Loo was called Pam and was higher than all trumps (the joker). The baron won the next four tricks with the queen of spades, and the king, queen, and knave of diamonds respectively. The scores of Belinda and the baron now being equal, the next play was crucial, for if either antagonist took more tricks than the “ombre,” the same went to the challengers, and the “ombre” had to replace the pool for the next game (the technical term for the defeat being codille). When the heroine saw the baron’s ace of hearts led, she was jubilant; her last card was the king of hearts, and (except when hearts were trumps) the king ranked above the ace.
In line 18 the game of cards starts, and finishes in line 100. The poet, in line 25, sets his attention on Belinda. The ability that the poet has to make a game of cards sound like a battle is impressive. He introduces the battle presenting Belinda and two other “Knights”, ready to fight. Thanks to the clarity of the text, we can see their card playing skills easily. This game of cards is called “Ombre”, and it comes from a Spanish game of cards. It is very similar to the game of cards of Spades and Hearts that we play nowadays.
The people of the highest social class played this game very frequently, because it became very popular very fast. Not only that, it is in the 19th century when we see it stops been so popular, because it doesn’t appear as much in literary works. The last literary work, that I know of that mentions it is an essay in Texas Studies by Mr. Case published in 1944. The game that Pope describes in his long poem follows the rules by the book.
This game is played with a Spanish deck of cards. It has kings and queens, and the 8’s, 9’s and 10’s are removed. Every player has nine cards, and the other thirteen cards are placed in the talon. The game starts with a bet; each player has to bet on who will be able to take the majority of tricks- you can take five of nine- and the one who wins the bet becomes the “declarer” or “ombre”, and has to play against the other two players. The advantage of being the “ombre” is that the player is allowed to choose which suit will be trump. In the poem, Belinda is the one to choose it, like we see in line number 46: “Let spades be trumps” she said, and trumps they were. To win the hand, the ombre has to take five tricks.
It is said that with the representation of a battle what Pope is trying to do is to make a point about his society, because at that time all what the elite did was play cards and gamble, which in a way were instruments to flirt, instead of using that energy and passion and dedicate them to brave and serious purposes.
Also, the fact that the Queen of Hearts falls, might be an anticipant of the misery Belinda is going to go through soon after the game is over. So, the poet might be making a connection between the card and Belinda, and suggesting that their fates are the same. In contrast to this, the victory of the King of Hearst might suggest the victory of the Baron himself at the end of the poem. He ends up doing what he wants to and, in a way, destroys everything else.
Q. 8. ‘The Rape of the Lock’ as a mock epic.
Ans. The epic is a narrative poem, of supposed divine inspiration, treating of a subject of great and momentous importance for mankind, the characters of the story being partly human and partly divine, and the language and style in which the incidents are related being full of elevation and dignity.
The features of a mock-epic would be almost same as the epic, but it should be clearly distinguished by its dissimilarity between subject and style. The features of The Rape of the Lock as a mock-epic, are depicted below:
1. The Title:
A mock-heroic poetry must be beautified with a grand title. Rape is a serious moral violation which means the seizure of a lady against his consent. In this case, Pope brought such very word to describe the possession of Belinda’s hair lock by Baron, just to produce a mock-heroic sensation. a
2. Variation of Style and Subject:
Mock epic is a good example of “highburlesque’. This means, the rhyme-scheme of a mock-epic would be grand, but the subject would be ridiculous.
very In this poem, Pope’s subject matter is insignificant but the style is high like an epic saga. The rape of the lock is not so rich in content to fit with the epic rhythm
3. Structural Form:
Like an epic, this poem is also divided in several Cantos and episodes that filter The Rape of the Lock as a mock-heroic epic. Pope also began this poem with an invocation in the first stanza, that fits the style appropriately.
4. Supernatural Activities:
Being an epic, The Rape of the Lock is presented with supernatural activities. As an epic feature, an explicit difference between heaven and hell is shown in this poem. Belinda plays the role of a divine ore from the celestial chastity of sylphs. In other hand, Baron is the spokesman of gnomes like Milton’s ‘Satan’.
Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, a tribute to friend Caryll, is a superlative piece of mock-epic that delivers charms at first glance with its inherent intellectual tricks at its fullest, as Pope describes in his own way-“Charms strike the sight, But merit wins the soul” (in “The Rape of the Lock”).
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