The Rape of The Lock: Lines 469-478 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 469-478. But anxious cares.....for thy ravish'd hair.

      Summary: These lines occur in Canto IV of Pope's mock-epic poem The Rape of the Lock. While the Baron was thus excited at his great achievement, Belinda's distressed beyond measure, was torn with rage and despair, such as never tormented even the hearts of captive young king, neglected old maids, unrepenting fierce tyrants or fashionable ladies when their mantles are pinned awkwardly.

      These lines give us an idea of the unexpressed feeling of anger that tormented Belinda's heart at the rape of her lock. Kings in the fullness of their youth, who are captured alive on the battle-field, proud maidens who continue to live after their charms are fled, passionate lovers who are dispossessed of their object of happiness (i.e. their beloved), old maids are refused a kiss, fierce tyrants that remains relentless to the end or Cynthia whose loose upper garment a pinned obliquely—none ever felt such anger, indignation, or frustration as the unhappy Belinda does at this moment.

      Critical Analysis: In these lines, Pope has strung together a series of anti-climatic images to satirize the depth of Belinda's anger and despair at the loss of her hair. Pope has greatly exaggerated the anger of Belinda at the loss of her hair and made her look ludicrous; for surely no one would have such furious rage at the loss of one's hair as to be compared with the rage of "Kings in battle seized."

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