Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard

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18th Century & the Works of Pope, Swift & Blake - Part 3

347 words. I am trying to simplify this and I am making a bit of a dog's breakfast of it at the moment.  There is SO MUCH TO TAKE ON BOARD and I don't think my brain can cope with the glut of Revolutions and politics that surround this essay.  If I don't suss this by Thursday afternoon, I will kick it to the kerb and go on to IN2 - comparison of two Cornish Poems and TH2 - Pick a theory, pick a text and run with the ball.

Back to today and I am battling Pope and The Rape of the Lock

  1. From Canto three

But when to Mischief Mortals bend their Will,
How soon they find fit Instruments of Ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting Grace
A two-edg'd Weapon from her shining Case;
So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight,
Present the Spear, and arm him for the Fight.
He takes the Gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little Engine on his Finger's Ends:
This just behind Belinda's Neck he spread,
As o'er the fragrant Steams she bends her Head:
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprights repair,
A thousand Wings, by turns, blow back the Hair,
And thrice they twitch'd the Diamond in her Ear,
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the Foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close Recesses of the Virgin's Thought;
As on the Nosegay in her Breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' Ideas rising in her Mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her Art,
An Earthly Lover lurking at her Heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his Pow'r expir'd,
Resign'd to Fate, and with a Sigh retir'd.
The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring Forfex wide,
T'inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide.
Ev'n then, before the fatal Engine clos'd,
A wretched Sylph too fondly interpos'd;
Fate urg'd the Sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain,
(But Airy Substance soon unites again)
The meeting Points that sacred Hair dissever
From the fair Head, for ever and for ever!

2   From Canto four:

For ever curs'd be this detested Day,
Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite Curl away!
Happy! ah ten times happy, had I been,
If Hampton-Court these Eyes had never seen!
Yet am not I the first mistaken Maid,
By Love of Courts to num'rous Ills betray'd.
Oh had I rather un-admir'd remain'd
In some lone Isle, or distant Northern Land;
Where the gilt Chariot never marks the way,
Where none learn Ombre, none e'er taste Bohea!
There kept my Charms conceal'd from mortal Eye,
Like Roses that in Desarts bloom and die.

This is all about a man stealing a tress of hair from his would-be love, sans scissors.  She feels violated, hence the Rape of the Lock (of hair). It is meant to poke fun at the stupidity of it all.  Suffice to say it wasn't received well, as they felt that Pope was mocking their sensibilities.  Or maybe they were just lacking a sense of humour. It may have breached some form of intimacy, but should have been treated as an act of a silly boy, not an act of absolute transgression.

I am trying not to complicate this - guess what? I am not succeeding.

What did the eighteenth century ever do for us, except generate an era of hideous dresses and a penchant for dodgy wigs? Gah!!!

I think I might be making some headway - I might just sacrifice Blake and concentrate on Alexander Pope.  I feel a bit better as I was able to pull the essay together by writing down some of the historical events of the day.  This is more of a signpost as to why the rise of political satire grew and how it gave way to the social commentary of Blake.  Because it is a period of time that is making me cross-eyed with boredom, I am treating it as I used to treat the psychology essays - delve deep, try to mine what is important to the gist of the essay and bring it up to the surface.

I kicked 'The Enlightenment' movement to the kerb.  Too many inconsistencies and it was mostly in the Franco-European countries - not here

Still - 515 words.  At this rate, the assignment will get to her Tuesday fortnight :-/
Tags: alexander pope, fda english y1, grindstone files - year 1, intro into literature, rape of the lock

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