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Flashcards in the rape of the lock Deck (13)
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at her dressing table like Alter

"robed in white" ; "a heavenly image in the glass appears" "th' inferior priestes, at her alters side, // Trembling, begins the sacred rights of pride"


whats on her dressing table

"puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux"


sparkling cross

"a sparkling cross she wore, // which jews might kiss and infidels adore"


"favour to none...

"favour to none, to all she smiles extends; // Oft she rejects, but never once offends".


belles and faults

"might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide: // If to her share some female errors fall, // look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all."


breaking china

"whether the nymph shall break Diana's Law, // or some frail china Jar receive a flaw, / pr steam her honour; or her new brocade, // forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade"
- iambic pentameter is b roken with caesura, giving the effect of treating the latter as equivalent, yet pope creates a see saw effect to make you recognise the bathetic comparison. here trivial commodities of modern society are given equal value to chastity and piety (heroic virtues). diminishes the value of heroic couplets.



Elizabeth Gurr states that "pope is attacking the vice of female pride" in her essay 'pope'
-however he condemns society for making this so. they must be vain to appeal to men. only purpose in life. "receive a flaw"



'O hast thou, cruel! been content to seize // hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!"


arming scene

"the various offerings of the world appear.... and decks the goddess with the glittering spoils"

echoes epic arming scene. mock allusion. no longer heroic purpose. she must arm herself with cosmetics to face the scrutiny of society. focus shifts from ethics to aesthetics. from considerations on morality to considerations of beauty.



"the hungry judges soon the sentence sign, and wretches hang that jury-men may dine"

distorted values. loss of justice. greed. criticises the legal system.


'Things' - the main argument of poem and morality

"what mighty contests rise from trivial things, i sing"
- by suspending main verb, pope echoes the opening of great epics yet rhyme of things and sing draws attention to the bathetic theme. instead of the wrath of great achilles etc, pope's theme is objects. commodity obsessed world with no heroic worth
- the modern world is satirised in popes poem for their valuing of trivial 'things', yet there are undertones of moral concern throughout the poem.


cave of spleen

she fills a vial with "fainting fears // soft sorrows, melting griefs, and flowing tears // the gnome rejoicing bears her gifts away, // spreads his black wings, and slowly mounts to day"
- sexual imagery. suggests very real danger at court as a result of society values, and symbolic virtues over actual virginity. "black wings" like the devil. she is an eve.



"deadly Bodkin" "melted down" "buckle" then toy then bodkin
- objects in classical epics must have symbolic encrustations to meet the decorum