THE RAPE OF THE LOCK BY ALEXANDER POPE

Alexander Pope is one of the mightiest poets in history, and The Rape of the Lock first saw the light of day in 1712 (anonymously). Two years later, the "official" edition hit the shelves with the man's name on the cover, and he used to be really proud of the fact that he moved more than 3K copies in the first 4 days.

This is what's known as a mock-heroic poem and, thanks to numerous translations, the genre became quite popular in Europe back in the 18th century. The main focus of the poem is a tiny incident that the author compares to the grandiose world of the gods. The accident did actually take place in real life with the poet's friend. Arabella and her man (or, rather, suitor), came from wealthy and influential English families.

Petre was head over heels for her and cut off a strand of her beautiful hair without asking her about it, and the scandal that followed created a huge rift between the two aristocrat families. Pope was also a good-hearted Catholic gentleman and was asked by his friends to write a poem that could bring the two back together. That's how he created Belinda, the main character of The Rape of the Lock (she was supposed to represent Arabella).

Next, he introduced a whole line-up of these so-called "sylphs" - guardian angels for pure virgins. They were a satirical version of the gods and goddesses from the conventional literature. He intentionally used the rulers of the world from the classic epics to show just how stupid it looks to stop talking to each other because of a simple lock of hair. It's safe to say that this poem has a huge legacy and has inspired numerous writers and poets to think outside of the box.

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