Short Summary of Rape of the Lock: "Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope

The poem is a criticism on upper society for its carefree lifestyle and ignorance of the troubles of common man. The poem is a satirical piece of writing intended to criticize the affairs of upper class. Both the males and females of upper class that remain busy in either in love games or the games of omber. Pope has made fun of women and their unthinking minds which are concerned for their beauty aids alone. He presents Belinda like an epic heroin. The stakes in this mock-heroic epic are Belinda's maidenhood. Pope does not invoke a heavenly muse like Milton rather Ariel reads of bad omens:

"Beware of all, but most beware of Man!"

Belinda's performance of her toilette, assisted by Betty, her "inferior priestess", is described as the arming of the epic hero: "Now awful Beauty put on all its arms" and then poet describes the various creams and perfumes on Belinda's vanity invests them with a value and exoticism they don't deserve: "Unnumbered treasures," "glittering spoil," "India's glowing gems," and "all Arabia breathes from yonder box". The "Fairest of Mortals" has "unnumbered Spirits round" flying as guards:

"To Fifty chosen Sylphs, of special Note,
We trust th' important Charge, the Petticoat."

Like great epic poems, we find aerial creatures in this poem too. While numberless fallen angels are at hand for Satan to build a meeting place of gold; there are unnumbered sylphs which help Bellinda protect her chastity. They are punished if they are careless:

"Whatever spirit, careless of his Charge,
His Post neglects, or leaves the Fair at large,
Shall feel sharp Vengeance soon o'ertake his Sins,
Be stopt in Vials, or transfixt with Pins."

A lord likes Belinda and proposes her with love, she refuses his love and the lord decides to take revenge upon her. He traps her in the game of cards and cut her most beautiful lock from behind and Belinda regrets to have gone for the game and dance parties. She is in deep gloom. She and all her female friends attack the baron and want the lock of hair back. The lock of hair is lost and is not to be found.