The Rape of The Lock is Fanciful Wandering

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      The Rape of the Lock is a masterpiece of mingling fact and fiction, reality and fancy. Being cast in the mock-heroic mold, it could not but include "supernatural machinery." The description of the sylphs- those aerial denizens-is infused with delicate fancy. Indeed, as we read of the ''Transparent forms too fine for mortal sight" and the "glittering textures of the filmy dew" dipped in "the richest tincture of the skies" and the myriad colors flung out by their fluttering wings in the sunlight, one wonders that Pope has been accused of being unpoetical.

      The description of the Cave of Spleen is another outcome of fancy, though here fancy assumes a nightmarish touch.

      The Rape of the Lock is, on the whole, one may say, fanciful. The trivial incident of the cutting of a society belle's lock of hair is expounded into a "rape" with all its connotations of sexual violence. It is fancy which gives to the description of Belinda's toilet a ritual quality. The journey down the river is colored, by fancy, as is the game of cards described in terms of a battle. The culmination of the play of fancy comes with the transformation of Belinda's lock of hair into a star.

      As we read of the hue and cry; the fierce battle, and the ignominious defeat of the Baron by a pinch of snuff, we do indeed "wander in fancy's maze." We quite forget the satire, and lose ourselves in the airy; ingenious and delightful atmosphere creature by Pope's fancy.

University Questions

How would you justify that The Rape of the Lock is "so much wandering in fancy's maze?

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