Husbands and(other) lapdogs

Then flash’d the living lightning from her eyes,
And screams of horror rend th’ affrighted skies.
Not louder shrieks to pitying heav’n are cast,
When husbands, or when lapdogs breathe their last;
Or when rich China vessels fall’n from high,
In glitt’ring dust and painted fragments lie!

(extract from the poem The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope)

When the Baron triumphantly snips one of the locks of the fair Belinda ,she gets into a fair rage,a sort of controlled emotion suitable to a society lady.But then emotions are emotions and when the occasion demands they have to be expressed.Therefore a living lightning ensues from her eyes and lady-like screams of horror issue forth ,rending the affrighted skies .The skies are indeed frightened by the loud screams and they are full of pity for the fair maiden whose locks have just been ravished by the Baron using a pair of scissors, a most murderous weapon that could be used on the curls of such a fair lady.

Never before have such loud screams been heard .Not even when husbands breath their last or even when their lapdogs breath their last in their warm laps.Not even when a rich Ming vase falls to the ground in pieces.

“The Rape of the Lock “ by Alexander Pope is a beautiful poem written in a typical mock-heroic strain. The poem offers a satirical commentary on the artificiality of the social mores prevailing then which placed emphasis on trivial things and social ostentation in preference to enduring values.

Advertisements