The Rape of The Lock: Lines 748-756 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 748-756. "Restore the lock".....who can contest?

      Summary: Having brought the Baron down with a charge of snuff, Belinda shouted out to him to restore her lock else she would pierce him with her deadly bodkin. Even Shakespeare's Othello did not call out to his wife for the handkerchief, the thought of which rankled him, in such a loud tone. But the ambitious attempts of men are frequently baffled and the contestants fight on till the prize itself is lost. So it happened in this instance. Belinda's lock, secured surreptitiously and retained with so much effort, was searched for everywhere but to no purpose. Heaven decided that no mortal should be favoured with such a prize and as none can counter Heaven's decree, Belinda's lock was not to be found.

      Critical Analysis: Pope's wit and humour come out in their true colors in these lines. In the true mock-epic style, Belinda like some victorious tyrant roars out at the Baron to restore her lock of hair. The comparison of Belinda's anger with the ranging anger of Othello becomes a piece of mockery because Othello's demanding the handkerchief from his wife is one of the most critical situations in Shakespeare, whereas Belinda's demand for her lock of hair has no such importance. In these lines, Pope has proved himself to be a master in mimicking the classics.

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