The Rape of The Lock: Lines 773-776 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 773-776. Not Berenice's.....through the skies

      Summary: Having indicated that Belinda's ravished lock shot up to heaven in the likeness of a comet, Pope further dilates upon its career through the sky. Berenice, wife of the Macedonian King Ptolemy III, vowed her hair to Venus if her husband returned victorious from Asia. He did so, and her hair was hung up in the temple of Venus. It was, however, soon stolen and according to the legend, raised to heaven and made a constellation; so Belinda's lock resembled Berenice's to an extent; but Berenice's lock, as it was taken up to heaven by Jupiter, did not first shine so brightly, nor illumined the skies with such disordered streaks of light as did Belinda's. The spirits saw it burning as it rose, and with pleasure followed its career through the heavens.

      Critical Analysis: In this passage too, Pope has made a dexterous use of his mock-epic style. He parallels the Belinda's lost lock with Berenice a Roman mythical character. It too vanished and shone brightly like Belinda's hair. He is using the exaggerated over tones to describe the lost hair.

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