The Rape of The Lock: Lines 725-730 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines. 725-730. Just where his nose

      Summary: Now, Belinda scores her victory over the Baron. Her rival possesses manly strength, but she vanquishes him with just a finger and a thumb. Crafty as she is, she throws a quantity of snuff into the very nostrils of the man through which he draws in his life breath. The spirits guide and apportion every bit of the snuff to its proper place which causes a pleasant pricking sensation. Suddenly his eyes become back wet with tears which start from them and the high vault thereafter echoes black the explosive sound made by the nose.

      Critical Analysis: Johnson's objection that Pope fails to mix up the spirits adequately in the action of the story can be met by citing this nice illustration of the gnomes directing by their invisible ministration, every action of the snuff straight into the Baron's nostrils. Their function is as delicate as their substance. Their interference is a nice adaptation of the interference of the 'machinery’ in the Homeric epics.

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