The Epic Of Alexander Pope's 'The Rape Of The Lock'

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Mock epic is a narrative poem which aims at mockery and laughter by using almost all the characteristic features of an epic but for a trivial subject. Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” is a famous mock-epic. In it, there is invocation to Muses, proposition of subject, battles, supernatural machinery, journey on water, underworld journey, long speeches, feasts (coffee house), Homeric similes and grand style but all for a simple family dispute instead of a national struggle. The grand treatment of a low subject produces hilarious laughter and makes the story more ridiculous.
Firstly, “Paradise Lost” is a long epic poem by John Milton begins with the proposition of justification of God’s way to man with nice invocation to the Muses. And another epic poem titled “The Faerie Queene” by Edmund Spenser follows the same manner. The subject matters in both of the epic poems are grand. Like the epic poems, the poem “The Rape of the Lock” opens with the proposition of the subject matter and Pope’s invocation to the Muses to help him compose the literary art. Such a grand treatment of a trivial subject matter like the clipping of the lock of Belinda provokes laughter when the poet says:
“I sing – this verse to Caryll, Muse! Is due:
This, ev’n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:” Secondly, in “The Iliad”, Homer describes in considerable detail the armor and weaponry of the great Achilles, as well as the battlefield trappings of other heroes. In the poem “The Rape of the Lock” Pope

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