Known as the greatest mock-epics ever to be written during the 18th century, Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” and Wycherley’s “The Country Wife,” have done the job of producing a harsh satirical attack on the polite class of that particular time, where the treatment of love is based merely upon materialism and pride. Even though love may be one of the most difficult terms to define in today’s world, back in the 18th century, love could simply be defined as the pleasure one receives from an object of affection or an object given from the world of materialism. The satirical focus of both of these works allows room for the humorous language and remarks, along with the exaggerated spotlight of just how out of focus these peoples values truly are.
A literary satire is intended to criticize and ridicule a particular topic instilled in the work. With these two works, the instilled topic is the treatment of love and the values that it should be surrounded by. “The Rape of the Lock” and “The Country Wife” are both literary satires that depict the treatment of love in similar and different ways, however, both works have the treatment of this desired emotion completely mistaken. While “The Rape of the Lock” focuses on love being more of a materialistic item, “The Country Wife” depicts love as sort of a game of jealousy and pride. On the other hand, both of these satires base love around pleasure, attraction, and sexual desires.
“The Country Wife” is a story that creatively mocks the polite and upper class society of the 18th century with touches of cynicism and vulgarity. The plot of this story deals with three men by the names of Harcourt, Dorilant, and Horner. Horner is looked upon as the leading man and an expert on love. These men are constantly looking for women and take on the role of being the top cuckolds of the town. Horner develops a plan to spread a rumor that he has become a eunuch and impotent to love. The woman portrayed in the story all seem...