Describe "The Rape of the Lock" as a mock epic.

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A mock epic is a parody which mocks (makes fun of) classic characteristics of a stereotypical epic. This happens when the text pokes fun at the idea of an epic hero or heroic literature. Typically, the mock epic turns the classical understanding of an epic upon its head by making the action of the text so outlandish that it becomes absurd.

Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" is a mock epic- basically, Pope admits this in the full title of the poem: "The Rape of the Lock: An Heroi-Comical Poem."

This poems can be simply detailed as a mock epic based upon the fact that the object of desire is not a noble woman, a queen, even a peasant. Instead, the object of desire is hair. The Baron upon the boat with Belinda becomes infatuated with Belinda's locks. Not only does he desire them, he has built an alter to ask for success in his ability to possess the locks.

The fact that a simple Baron desires a lock of hair makes the poem a mock epic.

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The Rape of the Lock

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