Romantic Emotionism In Alexander Pope's The Rape Of The Lock

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Most of life’s moments have little import. Each day often screams no more of significance than the day preceding. There are a few moments throughout life that manage to contain, within themselves, the power to change the course of one’s life, but more often than not, the moments we give importance to are fairly trivial events, changing or altering nothing more than any other day. We find that those more common moments are created by culture, cultivated in a society that believes that something about a day or a time—though nothing significant changes, like birthdays demarking a specific time on a continuum—makes it special. This same brand of cultural elevation affects physical features and infrequent, though insignificant still, actions. Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock charts that influence in society and, with verse dripping with wit, questions what we hold dear. The Rape of the Lock is written as a heroic Romantic poem, dealing in turns with romance and violence. Canto Three is perhaps Pope’s best encapsulation of Romantic passion in the poem. The card game is told a conflict between semi-personified cards and their players, Belinda and the Baron. Pope seems to enthrall the reader when “[t]he hoary Majesty of Spades appears” and pushes us to hold our breaths when “[t]he Knave of Diamonds tries his wily arts, / and wins (oh shameful chance!) the Queen of Hearts” (56, 86-87). The cutting of Belinda’s hair follows this, with the character, Clarissa, taking part to

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