The Rape of The Lock: Lines 171-176 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 171-176. Love in these.....a single hair.

      Summary: These lines from the second Canto of The Rape of the Lock deals exclusively with Belinda's two locks of hair and their alluring power. These two locks of hair hung gracefully in equal curls behind her smooth ivory neck and highlighted the beauty of her neck. These locks worked wonders on men and could cause havoc to their feelings. Love used these ringlets to hold its captives, and slender as they were, they enthralled mighty men and kept them prisoners there. Snares for catching birds are made of horse hair; fishing lines too are made of horse hair, and men too have been made captive and held as such by women's lovely hair.

      Critical Analysis: These lines demonstrate the brilliance of Pope's wit and humor. With a rare gift of mockery, he shows the - power of a woman's beauty. The conventional theme of a lover's attraction for his beloved is satirized and mocked at. This theme has been made delightfully ludicrous. It is not the inner beauty of a woman which attracts men but the mere physical beauty which is rarely skin-deep. Pope here is mocking both at 'Men’s imperial race' and at woman's craft.

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