The Rape of The Lock: Lines 621-635 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 621-635. Oh, had I.....these slighted hairs

      Summary: In these lines, Belinda expresses her profound sense of loss and grief. The poor lady was very downcast on account of her ravishing hair. She had now become reluctant to live in a society of fashionable men and women. As the phial of sorrow is emptied by Umbriel over her head, Belinda's indignation at the rape of the lock changes into grief, and she curses the day when she was first lured into Hampton Court. She wishes she had remained unadmired in some secluded isle or far off northern country, where people do not drive gilded carriages nor play at ombre, nor take bohea-tea. She wishes she could have hidden her beauty there from the ravishing eyes of men Like roses that blush and fade unseen in the deserts. She feels she would have been far happier there.

      Having exclaimed that she would have been far happier if she had remained unseen and unknown in some distant northern land, Belinda deplored the lure of court life which decoyed her into the dangers at Hampton Court. What was it that tempted her to move in the company of young peers? It was this that led to the rape of her lock. She wishes she had remained at home and said her prayers there. It was this calamity that omens in the morning appeared to foretell. The patch-box dropped from her quivering hand thrice; the unsteady porcelain vase trembled though there was no wind; even Poll (her parrot) remained quiet, and the lap dog Shock behaved most cruelly. An airy spirit too cautioned her against the impending attack of fate through a supernatural vision, the truth of which unfortunately she realized now when it was too late. If she had understood the warning and moved cautiously, she might have averted the catastrophe.

       Critical Analysis: Belinda's lamentation is characteristic of the sentiments of her sex. Such trifling as the rape of a lock, seems to them to be a disaster.

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