The Rape of The Lock: Lines 429-436 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 429-436. Just in that.....a sigh retired.

      Summary: These lines occur in connection with the poet’s description of how the aerial spirits tried in vain to protect Belinda against the ravisher's designs. As the other spirits blew back Belinda's hair or pricked her ear-drops in order to warn her. Ariel himself anxiously sought the inmost recesses of the virgin's thoughts. Sitting on a bunch of flowers near her bosom, he examined the idea surging in her mind, and suddenly discovered, in spite of all her cleverness, her heart inclining towards a mortal lover. This completely upset him she felt his powers gone, and with a sigh of regret resigned himself to the inevitable and retired.

      Critical Analysis: In these lines, the poet is perhaps hinting that the Baron was taking a great liberty with Belinda under the impression that she was in love with him. It has already been indicated that the sylphs were the protectors of only pure and chaste women. Belinda, being secretly enamored towards the Baron was not entitled to Ariel's protection.

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