The Rape of The Lock: Lines 581-588 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 581-588. And shall this.....perish all

      Summary: These lines are from the concluding portion of Thalestris's address to Belinda in order to fan the flame of her wrath at the rape of her lock. Having said that scurrilous whispers connected with the incident would soon destroy Belinda's reputation and that then it would be infamous even to appear to be her friend, Thalestris exclaims: "Shall your ravisher's predatory hand be for ever adorned with the precious lock, or even a part of it, and set in a diamond ring, while the encircling rays of the crystals intensify its beauty and the bachelors look in amazement? Let Hyde Park circus cease to be the haunt of the 'beau monde' and be overgrown with grass; let the wits take lodging in the city to which they have been so long averse; let chaos overtake the earth, air, and sea; and let all varieties of creatures—men, monkeys, lap-dogs, parrots—die rather than permit this catastrophe to happen."

      Critical Analysis: In these lines, Pope is once again mocking at the fairer sex's lopsided view of life. Thalestris's sense of values and by inference those of the women folk in general, is ludicrously unique. Belinda's hair and by inference women's beauty, in general, is considered to be more important than the dissolution of the universe. Thalestris equates the dissolution of the universe with the destruction of men, monkeys, lap-dogs and parrots, all mentioned in the same breath.

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