In An Essay on Cristicism, Alexander Pope defines the use of wit in literature, stating that a poet should use plain language and restrict the use of metaphor.Discuss why pope does not appy this definiton of wit to the rape of the lock.
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Well, for one, "The Rape of the Lock" is a mock epic. In an epic, the language used is very elevated--not plain at all. Therefore, in a mock epic, the same is true even though the language is raising plain events like tea parties and plain subjects like hatpins and lapdogs to an elevated state of false importance. Pope wrote this poem in an effort to apply satire to the lives of the rich. He satirizes the vanity of young women and men, the pompousness of the wealthy who have nothing to do but play cards and talk about those not present, courtship behavior, and the heady effect of coffee on these silly people. In order to do it, his writing is rife with metaphors. So, by his own definition, this writing incorporates two of the elements he says wit should not have--elevated language and metaphor.
However, most modern critics agree that this piece of literature isn't surpassed by many for wit and logic.
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