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As the name indicates the Mock-Epic is a literary form that burlesques the classical epics by using characteristics of the epic -- the invocation of a deity a formal statement of theme the division of the work into books and cantos grandiose speeches battles and supernatural machinery- to reveal the ridiculousness of a certain subject The main effect of employing techniques of an epic is however not so much to have fun with the epic but to deflate a subject or characters that by contrast appear particularly trivial One of the best examples of a Mock Epic is Alexander Popes The Rape of the Lock which uses its highly polished verses mordantly satirical heroic couplets and intelligence to satirize not only the overwhelming complexity and seriousness of subject matters found within epic poems but the fuss that results when an young lord cuts a small lock of hair from the head of an young beauty In The Rape of the Lock Pope expends much energy preparing the audience for a battle card game that will shortly take place that of English intrigue at Hampton Court Pope treats the subject with seriousness depicting the story as a true epic Popes intention was possibly to dilute with humor the ill feeling aroused by the affair of the lock of hair Pope is asking the participants to laugh at themselves to see how an event of little importance has been filled with value Though its tone may be light its function is wholly serious it keeps the public conscience alert it exposes absurdity for what it is and makes those inclined to adopt foolish or tasteless fashions aware that they are ridiculous It is a satire because it shows vice its own feature and makes it preposterous to others As stated by the OED Popes work is a reflection of the obtuseness and stupidity of people of the superficiality and meaningless of their lives and of the
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