The Rape of The Lock: Lines 67-78 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines 67-78. know further yet.....with men below

      Summary: These lines form part of the speech of Belinda's guardian sylph. In these lines, the sylph (rather, Pope) describes the care and protection that the sylphs extend to the virtuous women. Incidentally, he gives a picture of the temptations to which fashionable ladies are subject. Here we are told how the sylphs protect the chastity of women when the latter are in the midst of strong temptations. When women take part in a ball or a masquerade, their feelings tend to soften towards their partners and they are inclined to yield. They are used by false friends or audacious lovers and are assailed with sidelong looks and amorous whispers; and under the influence of music and dancing, their passions are inflamed and they feel like responding. At such moments it is the women's protecting spirits that save them. The heavenly beings know this, though men give ie credit to the women's sense of honor.

      Critical Analysis: Further in the First Canto, Pope with his satirical note makes it plain that it is not a woman's integrity or her normal sense which saves her from disaster but merely her aerial guardians or circumstances that protect her.

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