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Rape of the Lock - the ending

Posted on 17 June, 2015 at 17:10 Comments comments (0)

On reading the ending of Rape of the lock, I was struck by the sense of seriousness in the words but the humorous tone that surrounded it. This is a technique Pope was using to lighten the lengthy state of affairs. Pope wanted the audience to laugh at the absurdity of the circumstances and begins to layer in reasons as for the Baron’s actions. ‘And heav'nly Breasts with human Passions rage’ seemed to suggest that an justification was beginning to form for the Baron. He had only done what his gender had always taught them to do – worship the female form and appreciate its beauty. The ending continues with the mocking of the interaction of the God’s over something so seemingly small. The idea that this lock of hair is something that should be fought over by the God’s is a statement on the menial life of the upper class. Their dramas are small, therefore never needing the assistance of the God’s. A woman’s forgiveness or looks can both slay and revive a man (‘Beau reviv'd again’). This may be a suggestion of the importance the society place on beauty could be the end or beginning. From the vivid description of the ending, I could picture Pope in the place of the Baron. Whilst Pope was not the character or the real individual to suffer this situation, ‘and burn in Cupid’s flames’ gives the sense that there is something out of reach for these characters. Pope himself never married and I would imagine watched women from afar who he may have wished to be his. Instead he is forced to watch and ‘burn’ like the Baron. Pope continues the idea of the misunderstanding through his comparison of the ‘men’s wits against the Lady’s hair.’ Here he is giving an excuse. This is an idea that men’s excuse is their draw towards women and the senselessness in which they act. Pope calls an end to the whole situation by reminding Belinda that ‘your self shall die.’ He is drawing his imagery of the fighting god’s to a close, as the problem of the lock is addressed as a simple misunderstanding between a shocked woman and a man appreciating the hair.

Hannah Tack

Rape of the Lock - the ending

Posted on 17 June, 2015 at 17:10 Comments comments (0)

On re-reading the ending, I found myself struggling to determine who is being satirised in the conclusion. The targets of his poem varied from a mockery of the upper classes, to the corrupting nature of society’s obsession with innocence, and to the epics with which his peers idolise and imitate. The latter seems most apparent in the mock epic battle, which reveals the true nature behind the airs and graces of the upper classes. The items and affections they used to represent their civility (snuff boxes and fans etc.) become the weapons they use to destroy each other. The hair pin which ends the battle could be interpreted as a symbol constructed beauty, keeping appearance pinned down to the approved (male) aesthetic. When removed it becomes a weapon to be turned on men and restore order. However, Pope seems more content in restoring order than trying to give Belinda, or the reader any catharsis in the poem’s conclusion. Throughout his poem, the rhyme scheme and rhythm operates within strict parameters and confines, exhibiting self-control that few of the other characters seem capable of displaying. His ultimate goal could be a potential call for reason not just of the individuals involved in the dispute, but of society’s fascination with the triviality of beauty.

Jack Tottman

First reading of the ending by Emma...

Posted on 15 June, 2015 at 9:30 Comments comments (1)

The fight ensues and it is clear Umbriel is very happy with himself. All the supernatural characters are fighting with materialistic objects such as 'bodkin spears,' all in response to Belinda and the Baron. These supposed powerful beings have felt the need to react to a trivial situation between men and women within society. It appears that society and its on goings need the help and support of a higher power. An intervention. Jove finally gets involved and 'weights the mans wits against the lady's hair' highlighting that men and women are compared very differently. The important part of this is that Pope goes on to say 'at length the wits mount up and the hairs subside' suggesting that men again have control and dominance over women. This is contradicted when Belinda is described as 'fierce' and goes on to physically harm the Baron, using 'snuff' which in itself is comical but shows her going against the typical behaviour of women of the time. The mock epic is again show when she uses a 'deadly bodkin' as it appears she is fighting with a dangerous weapon. He has inflated the situation to ridicule the minor quarrels of society. However, right at the end of the canto, Belinda's lock is 'mounted to the lunar sphere' immortalising her hair and beauty forever. It seems as she is being rewarded for the situation that occurred. Even after she dies, part of her lives on. As Clarissa said her beauty couldn't last forever but now it will because it is the 'muse'. This links with Arabella, as we wouldn't have remembered her in history if Pope hadn't used her as the stimulus for his awesome poem.


First Session- Hamlet

Posted on 4 June, 2015 at 17:00 Comments comments (0)

"Like a whore, unpack my heart with words"....What a great start to the course! A really relaxed, wide-ranging discussion of the soliloquy. Scones weren't bad, either...

Looking forward to collating our readings! Send them in!

Counting Down to The Great English Literature Tea Party

Posted on 3 May, 2015 at 5:30 Comments comments (0)

In a matter of three school weeks, we'll be beginning our voyage through English Literature. We start with Shakespeare (sorry, Chaucer fans, we had to draw the line somewhere and we only have six sessions!). Pre-reading indformation will be appearing on the dedicated page of this site - but until then, any ideas for a name, anyone? I've called it the tea party becuase there will be copious quatities of tea - and quite possibly cheese scones. At the end of a school day, the brain needs fuel!