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Word Count: 888
The traditional epic was an extravagant tale revolving around the ideal and mighty hero and his quest always extending beyond the ordinary confinements of society Alexander Pope used the very structure of the formal and majestic epic in his The Rape of the Lock to underscore the ridiculousness of his own society and their trivial practices and beliefs In following the epic form inventing his own divine machinery using a learned and stiff diction Pope effectively treats his trivial subject matter the rape of Belindas most beautiful curl in the most striking fashion Pope further belittles the ideals of his society by introducing a voice of reason in the character of Clarissa towards the end of the poem who outwardly and blatantly ridicules the traditions of her contemporaries In a perfect marriage of the trifling subject matter and the impressive epic form Alexander Popes truthful points are effectively relayed to his audience The very first demonstration of the trivial in resects to the mighty is the very title of Popes epic The Rape of the Lock Simply but allowing the heavy word rape to describe the marginal action of Belindas dramatized hair cut reveals that Pope sees the 18th centurys new endeavor vanity in a far less wondrous light than his contemporaries Pope furthers places the ridiculous in perspective by mimicking the very form of the epic traditionally used to tell tales of glory and wonder to tell his melodramatic tale of a woman in love with herself Invoking his version of the awesome beauteous muse John Caryll Pope includes an essential element of the classic epic of a minimized yet in conservative and common degree I sing This verse to Carull Musecanto i line3 The Rape of the Lock additionally parallels the traditional epic by following through with the conventional epic themes of love and war but again trivializing them to the ultimate end Pope personifies gambling bouts and exaggerates flirtatious spells comparing
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