The Rape of The Lock: Lines 177-194 - Summary & Analysis

Also Read

Lines: 177-194. The advent'rous Baron.....dispersed in empty air.

      Summary: Having mentioned that Belinda's lock immediately arrested the eyes of the rash Lord Petre and begot in him the desire to possess them, the poet proceeds to describe the Lord's consideration of the mears to achieve this end. He was determined to obtain the locks as a prize. What remained to be decided was whether he should carry them off forcibly or employ some deceitful trick for the purpose. He has no scruples about using either force or wile; for he knew that once success crowns the efforts of love nobody questions as to the method adopted, whether fair or foul. So the Baron seeks help from heaven. Early in the morning, he prays to the various gods for aid and guidance. But his prayer is aimed chiefly to the god of Love, Cupid. He raises an altar Cupid's honor, made of twelve thick volumes of neatly bound', romances of the 17th-century French novelists. On this altar, he placed as offerings, various tokens of love from his former mistresses, like ladies' garters and gloves. He set fire to these offerings with the passionate love letters which had been written to him by his former beloveds, and breathed three passionate sighs to kindle the fire. After making these arrangements, the baron fell flat on his face like a reverent worshipper and with passionate eyes beseeched the god to let him have a lock of Belinda's hair at he earliest and let him keep it forever. But the god could listen only to half his prayer as the rest was scattered by the winds in the empty air. Thus, only half his prayer was granted, meaning that he would succeed in obtaining the lock of hair but would not be able to keep it for long.

      Critical Analysis: The satire here is pungent. The Baron is made to look like a baboon. Pope make fun of the Baron for having had several love affairs, and all his antics only being out his superficial and fickle nature. Pope does not spare the woman either. Their love- letters to the Baron, which go as an offering to the gods of love, show their worth and also the lack of sincerity in the Baron. The number of garters and gloves that the Baron possesses could indicate that the Baron was not actually favored with these articles but had rather stolen them. These lines underline the ludicrous element in the conduct of the fashionable gentry of Pope's age.

Previous Post Next Post