How does POPE combine the epic and the satire in THE RAPE OF THE LOCK?answer in detail

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sensei918 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pope uses the form of the epic, with all the proper tropes, including the calling upon the Muse and describing everything as if it were a mortal battle, to satiric effect in "Rape of the Lock." Epic poems were always grand in scope and dealt with the creation of national or group identity and history. The satire comes into the picture because he uses the mock epic to tell the tragic tale of a young society "nymph" named Belinda, who lost a curly lock of hair at the nape of her neck to a quick witted Baron. The story is based on a real incident that happened between two wealthy families, and Belinda is a standin for the girl, Arabella Fermor. Pope's friend John Caryll asked him to write it to defuse the sticky situation between the families, so Pope took it upon himself to use the epic form in a satiric way to demonstrate how silly it was to get upset over something as frivolous as a lock of hair.  Apparently, his idea worked.   

ivana | Student

Pope uses epic tehniques to talk about an almost trivial event and in this way makes a parody of old Greeks classics for example those of Homer.

Pope uses all the classical epic literary techinques: invocation ,lamentations, exclamations and similes. So, he writes the poem in epic form but the theme is not epic at all.

Certainly, he is not describing anything epic when he is talking about the rape of a lock. This is where the satiric part comes in. The poem is in fact a mock-epic.

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The Rape of the Lock

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