Broadsides on the Thames: the social context of The rape of the lock, II, 47-52

Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of English


Citation of Original Publication

Hahn, H. George. "Broadsides on the Thames: The social context of The Rape of the Lock, II, 47-52



[From article]: As Reuben Brower has shown, allusion in Pope is a resource equivalent to metaphor and imagery in other poets1 1 R. A. Brower, Alexander Pope: The Poetry of Allusion (Oxford, 1959). . Yet it is not merely by literary allusion that Pope achieves comic effect in The Rape of the Lock, II, 47-52, the depiction of Belinda's water passage to Hampton Court. He creates a comic irony in these verses by a careful blend of a Watteau-like scene with heroically allusive overtones and a crude Hogarthian undertone given strength by its appeal to contemporary awareness of abusive language by travellers on the Thames. The dual ironic contexts of the heroic and the prosaic further heighten the poem's comic incongruity.