Short Summary of Rape of the Lock Canto-IV: "Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope



The poet compares the rage of Belinda with those of "Kings in Battel seiz'd alive" and "scornful Virgins who their Charms survive". Ariel leaves Belinda weeping while Umbriel goes to the "cave of spleen". Here the queen of spleen is seated with maids and here "stood Ill-nature like an ancient Maid". Here affectation and fake sickness abode. Here strange things are seen like "teapots stand, one Arm held out" while another is "bent" and "Maids turn'd Bottels, call aloud for Corks". She addresses the queen thus:

"Hail wayward Queen!
Who rule the Sex to Fifty from Fifteen,
Parent of Vapors and of Female Wit,
Who give th' Hysteric or Poetic Fit"

She requests help from the queen of spleen. The queen grants the wish and Umbriel returns with the gift of:

"There she collects the Force of Female Lungs,
Sighs, Sobs, and Passions, and the War of Tongues.
A Vial next she fills with fainting Fears,
Soft Sorrows, melting Griefs, and flowing Tears."

Here Belinda is lying in sorrow and agony of her loss. But she also conscious of what the Baron would do with her hair:

"Gods! shall the Ravisher display your Hair,
While the Fops envy, and the Ladies stare!"

Sir Plume is involved into the matter for getting back the lock of the lady but the Baron flatly refuses to give back the hair. He intends to keep the hair forever with him as a token of honour and shall display it openly: "This Hand, which won it, shall for ever wear".

Umbriel reaches Belinda and breaks the vial causing sorrow and gloom over Belinda. And under the impact of the spleen, she feels guilty of having visited the Hampton court. She thinks it was better if she had stayed home in loneliness. She curses the day. She mocks herself by saying that the Baron should have cut "any hair" but not that hair which added beauty to her neck.

"Oh hadst thou, Cruel! been content to seize
Hairs less in sight, or any Hairs but these!"




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