The Rape of The Lock: Lines 490-498 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 490-498. And screened in.....with lampoons.

      Summary: Here in a cave, from which the air is carefully shut out, and which is shaded from the hateful light of the day, Spleen lies on her bed continually sighing, with Pain by her side and Mergim near her head. Two attendants wait upon the throne; they are of the same rank but differ much in appearance and stature. On one side stands ill-nature in the likeness of an old maid, her aged body attired in black and white dress, i.e., in a dress with striking contrasts of color. Her hand displays a stock of prayers for all hours of the day— mornings, noons and nights—while her heart cherishes scurrilous attacks on persons.

      Critical Analysis: In these lines of Canto IV, The Rape of the Lock, Pope describes one of the two maids who wait on the deity Spleen in her cave. This cave is situated at the center of the earth. The poet's imagery of ill-nature is well conceived. He remarkably brings out the persons who become the victims of ill-nature. Such persons are malicious. They take pleasure in heaping abuse on others. Outwardly they feign purity by their show of devotion.

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