The Rape of The Lock: Lines 689-696 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 689-696. So when bold.....the flash of day

      Summary: Having related how the fight between Belinda's party on the one side and the Baron's on the other, over the possession of the ravished lock, the poet refers for comparison to the combat of the gods as represented in Homer. The hearts of the gods are tormented with the wrath and jealousies of mere mortals. Mars arms himself to fight Pallas, and Hermes to fight Latona, and the entire abode of the gods resounds with the shouts raised by them. Jove's thunder sends forth a terrible sound; the surrounding skies shake; the blue ocean breaks into a storm; the deep waters surging into waves produce ringing echoes and earthquakes; and the towers tremble; there are breaches or openings in the ground at places; and the lustreless ghosts startle out of their graves as the light of the sun flashes in front of them.

      Critical Analysis: In these lines, Pope parodies the Homeric description of the battle which raged between the gods, and he has been perfectly successful in giving his poem a true mock-epic form. The uproar over Belinda's lock of hair is here compared to the fighting of the gods and goddesses.

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