The Rape of The Lock: Lines 337-354 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 337-354. Now move to the victor spade

      Summary: Here the poet describes how the game was played by Belinda. Belinda moved her chief black cards to fight on the table. They were like leaders of the dark-complexioned Arabs. She first moved the invincible Ace of Spades, carried off two trump cards as captives, and cleared the table. Manillio, the two of Spades, captured two more trump cards and marched off like a victor from the table with green velvet.

      Basto, the Ace of Clubs, followed Manillio, but he was less lucky because he captured only one trump card and one card belonging to some other suit. Next, the old King of Spades, with his broadsword, appeared in the field. He put forth one masculine leg which was visible, but the other was hidden by his many-colored flowing dress. The rebel Knave of Spades had the insolence to engage his king in fight; and he was justly struck down by his indignant master. Even the mighty Pam, the knave of clubs, which is the most important card in the game of Loo, and who had defeated Kings and Queens and slaughtered huge armies in the battle, now quite helpless, suffered an inglorious defeat at the hands of the victorious King of Spades. Such is the sad uncertainty of war. The King of Spades captured both the Knave of Clubs as that of Spades.

      Critical Analysis: Pope's description of the game of Ombre is vivid and amusing. The mock-heroic pattern is scrupulously maintained, and the game of Ombre is finely presented as the mighty battle of some epic. Even the very imagery of the grassy battlefield is couched in a Homeric style to depict a trifling incident. Indeed, Pope's lines flash with wit and stir with the genuine spirit of humor. The cards the players and the game are all conceived with the true genius of the mock-heroic art.

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