Saturday, November 5, 2016

For Monday: Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Canto 5

Synopsis of Canto 5: Belinda is still weeping over her lock, so Clarissa (the one who handed the Baron the scissors) interrupts to make a speech. Her speech is important (read carefully), but it draws no applause; instead, Belinda and Thalestris rouse themselves to attack the Baron and his men. A fierce battle ensues, where men are killed by frowns and resurrected by smiles, and where Belinda uses her deadly snuff box as a weapon (snuff is a kind of tobacco which was finely ground, kept in a box, and inhaled instead of smoked). However, the battle draws to a stalemate, especially as the Baron no longer has the lock. Magically, it ascended to the heavens where it is now a star, visible to anyone in London, where it will become the envy of women everywhere, and the cause of Belinda's immortal fame.

NOTE: No questions this time, but we'll do an in-class writing over the short Canto 5. Some things to pay attention to:

* Clarissa's Speech--read it carefully and more than once; do you think she's an object of satire here? Or is she the 'straight woman' here, expressing Pope's own thoughts?

* What kind of things end up on the moon? Look carefully at this bizarre collection of artifacts. What do they all have in common? 

* What kind of immortality is Pope bestowing upon Belinda/Arabella at the very end of the poem? Is she famous for her beauty? For her stupidity? Or for simply being a character in an immortal poem? Is she the star--or is the poem itself? 

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