• Pope's Rape of the Lock & Feminist Theory

    Pages: 15

    A 15 page research paper that examines Alexander Pope's eighteenth century mock-heroic epic poem The Rape of the Lock from the perspective of feminist theory. The writer argues that Pope addressed the topic of feminine beauty, its significance and artifice. While Pope satirizes the use of cosmetics in regards to Belinda's beauty, he also pictures beauty, regardless of how it is achieved, as a source of feminine power. An examination of Pope's The Rape of the Lock within the framework of feminist theory demonstrates several points that are relevant both to understanding Pope's intent and also the thrust of feminism in contemporary society. Bibliography lists 13 sources.

    File: D0_khaprotl.rtf

    Send Me This Paper »

     

    Sample Text:
    Popes Rape of the Lock & Feminist Theory - November, 2003 for more  information on using this paper properly! In the eighteenth century, Alexander Pope addressed the topic of feminine beauty, its significance and artifice, in his mock-heroic epic poem The  Rape of the Lock. While Pope satirizes the use of cosmetics in regards to Belindas beauty, he also pictures beauty, regardless of how it is achieved, as a source of  feminine power. An examination of Popes The Rape of the Lock within the framework of feminist theory demonstrates several points that are relevant both to understanding Popes intent and also  the thrust of feminism in contemporary society. First of all, Popes objectification of Belinda, his having "managed" her within the overall context of his verse, demonstrates the societal need  to control the "threat" of feminine beauty to prevailing power structures. But also the power implied within this context suggests that the current position of many women towards beauty  is an effort that serves to capitalize on that power, rather than reject it, as women did at the beginning of the feminist movement (Kaminer, 2001). As this suggests, by  exploring the patriarchal attitudes expressed by Pope, the reader discovers implications that suggest that the contemporary perspective toward beauty both encompasses this perspective, yet also implies that there is a  new direction in the manner in which women perceive feminine beauty. Through the voice of Clarissa in Canto V, Pope argues the "moral" for his tale, which is that  women should be admired for their inner qualities, rather than their outward beauty. However, it is nevertheless true that Pope immortalizes Belinda through his verse precisely because of her beauty, 

    Back to Results