English Lecture “The Rape of the Lock” February 8, 2011
The Rape of the Lock
“The Rape of the Sabine Women”
“frolic of gallantry”
Inflation of the Purpose
Genesis 1:28 “God said unto them… replenish the Earth, and subdue it, and have
9:1 “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them… replenish the Earth”
11.9 “THe Lord did their (at Babel) confound the language. And from there scatter
them… upon the face of the Earth”
- At this time everybody simply believed in the Bible.
- Theory of degeneration - Noah must’ve been an extremely good boat maker
- All the values Europeans cherished: hard work, etc. was not seen as being in other
parts of the world. (Inuit, Africa - they “have no culture”)
- Imperialism as Enlightenment. Bringing light to other parts of the world.
- p.1308 Samuel’s commentary on Paradise Lost:
- Similar to colony/empire. Satan essentially colonizes Hell.
- Chaos. Satan/Sin/Death help make the beaten path between Hell/Eden. They’re
road builders. Which were very important in the colonization of Canada.
- Eden. Adam and Eve explore it, Adam names things. Exactly what colonists do.
- Paradise Lost is essentially tied up in Imperialism.
- Rape of the Lock
- What inspired this poem (1136)
- Persecution of Catholics. Pope couldn’t hold office, vote, go to university. So he
translated the Iliad and Odyssey.
- Pope’s friend suggested he write it to bring laughter to these troubled times.
- Fun event = frolic of gallantry
- The Rape of the Lock
- Title implies that there is a rape. (The Rape of the Sabine Women). This is a
heinous crime, a big deal. Pope draws on this magnitude - he uses the word
rape. He alludes to serious things that happen behind the scenes.
- 177-178: Suggestions that the hair involved is not Belinda’s hair on her head.