Character of Belinda in The Rape of The Lock By Alexander Pope


The Rape of the Lock is a mock epic poem which is written by Alexander Pope, the representative poet of the 18th Century. Pop has pictured the character of Belinda as the model of the common fashionable ladies of contemporary society.

Belinda is the chief attraction of this poem and thus becomes the heroine. She is the only leading character a mere fashionable butterfly, like any figuring in the unheroic pages of the spectators. Yet her screams and the flashes of lighting from her eyes are compared with those of an epic here. 

Character of Belinda in “The Rape of The Lock”

There are several aspects of the personality of Belinda as portrayed by Pope in the Rape of the Lock. At the very outset of the poem, we see her an ide and late-rising aristocratic lady who possesses keen interest for domestic pets. Her idleness is established when we see her sleeping into twelve. Belinda loves lap dogs more than her lover. Her dog knows when to wake up her. The poet says in the following ways:

“Lap dogs give themselves the raising shake

And sleepless lovers, just at twelve awake”

After walking up, she must perform her toilet. Her dressing table has a number of expensive beautifying articles like powder, paint and jeweler boxes. However, Belinda is in love with her own beauty which is so much costly in the world. The toilet table is like a church according to her. The poet says:

“Here flies of pains extend their shining rows

Puffs, powder, patches, bibles, billets-doux”

Through the character of Belinda, Pope depicts the fashionable aristocratic women of her age. She is a complex character. Pop has attacked the so called fashionable culture. Belinda is a woman of that so called fashionable society. She feels proud of her lock. She visits the Hampton court and plays card with Baron or other officers.

“Then gay ideas crowd the vacant brain

While peers and dukes and all their weeping train

And garters, start and caronets appear

And in soft soundm, “Your grace” salutes their ear”

Pope makes satire on the value of Christianity or some other moral value through the character of Belinda who does not show any respect for Christian ideologies, rather she entraps the holly practices. Belinda glorifies herself with a sparkling cross on her white Brest to add extra charm to it. When she wears the sparking cross on her white bosom all her beauties glitters and the eyes of the young men rests upon that cross to get her favor cherishing beauty. Pop believes that the jews and infidels who never show any respect for Christ, will soon forget their religion and will take the chance of kissing it. The poet says in the following ways:

“On her white breasts a sparkling cross the wore

which jews might kiss, and infields adore.”

In fact, Belinda is the embodiment of the coquetry the art. She is also embodiment of the artifice and the false pride. However Ariel acquaints us with her flirtatious nature at the time of exhorting his fellow-sprits to remain vigilant. Ariel discovers surprisingly that inspite of all her pretence, she amorously inclined towards a gallant;

“Sudden he viewed in spite of all her art

An earthly lover lurking at her heart”

Therefore the moral bankrupt of these ladies is further ridiculed at the time of  Thalestris points out the need for sacrifice everything even chastity for reputation. The consider that virtue might be lost, but not a good name:

“Honour forbid at whose unrivaled shrine

Ease, pleasure, virtue all our sex resign”

The same attitude of mind is expressed in the lines in which Belinda declares that she would not have left so offended if the Baron had stolen any other hair from her but speared that particular lock:

“Oh, hadst thou, cruel ! Been content to seize”    

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