The Rape of The Lock: Lines 105-114 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 105-114. Of these am I.....beware of man

      Summary: In these lines, the sylph warns Belinda of a forthcoming disaster in the course of the day. Belinda was under the protection of such a sylph named Ariel. He had read in the ruling star of Belinda that some unknown danger was going to befall her in the course of the day. He did not know the exact nature of the danger and so gave her timely warning to be on her guard, chiefly against the male sex. As the sylph remarked: "I am one of these spirits and claim to be your guardian. My name is Ariel and I am always watching over you. Recently, while I was flying in the clear upper air, I saw in the mirror of the star of your destiny that some terrible event is going to happen to you before this evening. But I cannot say what that misfortune will be or how and where it will happen. Therefore, O virtuous lady! I be warned by me and protect yourself from all kinds of deceits, especially from the cunning of man. I can only warn you and can do nothing else."

      Critical Analysis: After a discourse on women in general, Ariel, the guardian spirit warns Belinda of this impending disaster and the dream ends. In these few lines, we can see how Pope employs the technique of 'machinery' from this epic for his mock-heroic purpose. Unlike the epics, Pope's celestial beings are not all-knowing or all-powerful. They can see only the impending disaster but they cannot foretell the nature of the danger. While desisting from telling the full import of the future, Pope is being faithful in the epics but by keeping his machinery frail and diminutive he is also parodying the epics.

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