Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock is an outstanding example of the neoclassic genre of mock epic. Pope uses the mock epic to satirize the triviality of
18th-century high society through exaggeration and parody. Basing his poem on an actual incident that occurred among some of his acquaintances, Pope intended his story to put the episode into humorous perspective and encourage his friends to laugh at their own actions.
A mock epic is a
showed first 75 words of 644 total
showed last 75 words of 644 total
by a star bearing her name.
"Satire is a glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own" (Long, "Racine" 4). Pope uses every aspect of the mock epic to satirize the frivolity of the people around him. He takes specific scenes and uses parody to illustrate the insignificance of everyday rituals. He even uses the structure of rhyming couplets to juxtapose the ordinary with the extraordinary to reveal the society's distorted value system.