Commodity of the Power of Women in “The Rape of the Lock”
Alexander Pope, one of the most intriguing authors in British literature, exemplifies the changing roles of the acceptance of women within British society through “The Rape of the Lock.” Analyzed by critics as a mock epic, Pope uses this style to light-heartedly supply the reader with a glance into the changing ideals and values of women during the eighteenth century by expressing an underlying power gained by women through their gutsy ambition to be heard by their male counterparts.
Pope’s ability to use an elevated style to propel trivial events signifies the importance of noticing a meaning from something seemingly un-meaningful which, in this case, is the importance and power of women in his society. At the turn of the century, British society was beginning to undermine the authoritative power struggle between male and female and Pope is able to effectively expose the image along with the entailment pursuit of power within women through the indiscretions of the society without being resentful, like most of the writers do during that time period. Pope not only extensively focuses on the protagonist Belinda to represent the individualistic power of women; but, he also successfully utilizes the power in women through other, supporting female characters.
Pope first shares the changing role of power between men and women when he refers to the power held by Queen Anne of Britain: “One speaks the glory of the British Queen” (Canto III. 13). Though not an actual character in the poem, Queen Anne exhibited her power immensely in the newly-developed government in Britain, which was one of the first signs of the recognition of a woman’s power (Jones). Pope intentionally mentions her dominion: “Of foreign tyrants, and of nympths at home;/Here though, great Anna! Whom three realms obey,/Dost sometimes counsel take—and sometimes tea” (III.6-8) This illustrates her comparable power to that of a man during this...