Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Alexander Pope

Imagery Analysis
Home | Historical Background- Timeline | Interesting Information | Study Questions | Author Biography | The Major Works of Alexander Pope | Influences | Imagery Analysis | Great LInks | The Rape of the Lock | Picture Gallery | Themes | Theme Analysis | Style | Literary Movement | Page Title | Works Cited

The Rape of the Lock, one of Pope's most famous works, is a vivid poem, rich in imagery. Some of the most recurrent images in the poem are the sun, the china, and the silver and gold objects. Following is a discussion of each of these images and examples within the text:
 
Sun- Examples:  
"Ere to the Main this morning's Sun descend,
But Heav'n reveals not what, or how, or where" (Canto 1)
 
"Not with more Glories, in th' Ethereal Plain,
The Sun first rises o'er the purpled Main,
Than issuing forth, the Rival of his Beams
Launch'd on the Bosom of the Silver Thames." (Canto 2)
 
The repeated use of the sun image unifies the plot and emphasizes the fact that the narrative occurs within a single day. When he compares the bright and beaming sun with Belinda's appeareance, he ridiculizes her pompous pride and vanity. The sun also forms part of a developed image of celestial elements that seem to juxtapose the earthly occurrences with the heavenly occurrences.
 
China- Examples:
"Whether the Nymph shall break Diana's law,
Or some frail China jar receive a Flaw,
Or stain her Honour, or her new Brocade" (Canto 2)
 
"Thrice from my trembling Hand the Patch-box fell;
The tott'ring China shook without a Wind" (Canto 1)
 
The luxurious and delicate china represents the world of the characters. Rather than practical and realistic, their world is fragile, complex, and ornate. Another interpretation of the china image is that the fragility of china plates stand for the vulnerability of female chastity.
 
Silver and gold objects- Examples:
"Now Jove suspends his golden Scales in Air,
Weighs the Men's Wits against the Lady's Hair" (Canto V)
 
"The silver Token, and the Circled Green,
Or Virgins visited by Angel-powers
With Golden Crowns and Wreaths of heav'nly Flow'rs" (Canto 1)
 
Pope's purpose for giving images of gold and silver objects is one of the themes of the poem: people should look beyond the glittery appearance of an object to discover its true value.



Enter content here

Enter supporting content here