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18th century Satire in British Literature Particularly in Alexander Popes The Rape of the Lock and Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels - Essay Example

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18th century Satire in British Literature Particularly in Alexander Popes The Rape of the Lock and Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels

Pope was believed to be notorious for he always made himself visible despite the general social expectation that deformed people should hide themselves. The criticism of the nobles against anything or anyone who is ugly and deformed must have provoked Pope to be satirical against them in his works. As an assiduous scholar, Pope educated himself in the languages and he found confidence and encouragement from his father and like-minded friends in literature. His tuberculosis of the spine, which left him a hunchback, did not interfere with his desire to join various literary circles in London and to publish his works, especially The Rape of the Lock, which is a satire directed against the nobles of high society England (Lund 2005). Moreover, Pope was against slavery, and this must have been one of the reasons why he was against the nobles (Pritchard 2005).
2.2 Style of Satire in The Rape of the Lock
The Rape of the Lock is a satire against the vanity of the British high society of the 18th century. In Canto II, although Pope somehow praises the beauty and elegance of Belinda, he does not fail to indicate that she possesses objects of luxury which all equate to beauty: “on her white Breast a sparkling Cross she wore” and just like in Canto I, where she is mentioned to possess “Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux” (Pope, The Rape of the Lock 2004)....
In Canto II, although Pope somehow praises the beauty and elegance of Belinda, he does not fail to indicate that she possesses objects of luxury which all equate to beauty: “on her white Breast a sparkling Cross she wore” and just like in Canto I, where she is mentioned to possess “Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux” (Pope, The Rape of the Lock 2004). In Canto II, the Baron is also mentioned to own altar, three garters and half a pair of gloves as well as “trophies of his former loves” (Pope, The Rape of the Lock 2004). This pomp and grandeur that both Belinda and the Baron possess somehow implies that Pope was once opposed to the flamboyance of the high society and somehow exaggerated this flamboyance satirically in order for it to be noticed by the reader. This therefore teaches the reader that one should opt for simplicity for simplicity is beauty and void of tedious details. The mention of the Bible as one of the things in the toilette of Belinda is somehow a criticism of religion and of how the high society actually regards it. Moreover, “the placement of the Bible among the other consumables on Belinda’s table in fact…suggests for us a specific confusion of religion and consumer culture in Pope’s England” (Hernandez 2008). Religion, as implied in the poem, is actually nothing but a mere consumable or a mere product that is void of any meaning or significance. Moreover, since the Bible is with the other essentials of Belinda, it therefore seems that religion is merely used by the high society nobles to further their selfish ends. Moreover, Pope is believed to use a language that “trades on the disparity between two or more senses of the same word, the moral or spiritual in contrast to the economic, in order to point out the ...Show more

Summary

Alexander Pope And His Satire.
It is believed that “Pope may be the greatest poet of his age, but he is also a notable cripple, and that fact along renders nugatory all other pretensions to respect or acceptance” (Lund 2005). …
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18th century Satire in British Literature Particularly in Alexander Popes The Rape of the Lock and Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels essay example
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