Explain the following lines from The Rape of the Lock: "How vain are all these Glories, all our Pains, Unless good Sense preserve what Beauty gains:"

1 Answer | Add Yours

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The following lines appear in "The Rape of the Lock", Canto Five, lines 15-16:

How vain are all these Glories, all our Pains,
Unless good Sense preserve what Beauty gains:

The lines refer to the fact that beauty is questioned in regards to its being honored by the "wise Man's passion" and the "vain Man's Toast." This is compounded on when the questions arises about women being compared to angels in regards to their beauty alone- men do not compare women to angels because of their minds or morality.

The lines above refer to the fact that vanity, above all else, seems to be on the minds of men. The women find it unsensible that beauty alone holds men and that good sense does not factor into the equation at all.

 

We’ve answered 318,960 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question