Please explain the following quote from The Rape of the Lock.With varying vanities, from every part, They shift the moving toyshop of their heart.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a famous quote that actually comes from Canto I of this excellent mock epic, which presents us with the supernatural background that goes on behind the "amorous affairs" that occur between mortals. We are told that so much of the influence for these affairs of the heart are actually caused or helped on their way by a whole group of sylphs, who "contrive it all," and convince the mortals that it is just "levity" that makes them act in such foolish ways.

The key way in which they influence mortals is through the "varying vanities" of their art, which allows them to "shift the moving toyshop of their heart." This is a curious metaphor to use, but it does emphasise the childish and fickle nature of the mortals, indirectly commenting upon their maturity and actions, by describing the heart of these mortals as firstly "moving," indicating that they are constantly changing in their affections, and secondly as a "toyshop," indicating that their heart is childish and is not mature in terms of emotions such as love.

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