Essay Example on Restoration and 18th Century Literature

Published: 2023-01-13
Essay Example on Restoration and 18th Century Literature
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Poem Jonathan Swift Gender in literature
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 2099 words
18 min read

There has been more debate over the internet that girls wear fake nails, fake hair, fake tan, fake boobs, and fake eyelashes and then they claim that they need real men. Actually, men are the ones who seek fake women most of the time. The medium and choice of such a debate have transitioned with time but the argument is still the same thing essentially that Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift talked about in the poems they wrote. Men are being accused of misogyny frequently in what they pursue and in "The Rape of the Lock" and "A Lady's Dressing Room "they tend to abuse a woman's beauty and then differentiate their own view of the society of women w2ith some sort of reality.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The poems of Pope and Swift tend to attack mostly not women but the upper class through the work still has some aspects of misogyny. Therefore the triviality that is seen in the society of the upper class is clearly demonstrated in the poem of Pope and Swift and not only the women's vanity silliness.

The beginning of the Swift's poem "The Lady's Dressing Room" possesses some remarks which are sarcastic in nature and create awareness to the audience that for the "goddess" to become beautiful, all sorts of equipment and time are needed. It states that haughty Celia took five hours in dressing. Because Celia is available in the four lines which are starting, it indicates more beautiful imagery and rhyme which is delicate despite the fact that the tone is sarcastic.

Once Celia moves out of the room when she is well dressed as described in the poem, the rhymes of the poem starts becoming more rude and harsh and is seen that the tone of the best part of the poem is set from there which illustrates the repulsive Celia but not the delicate and feminine "goddess". The poem does not show any imagery which is beautiful after the first four lines and it is seen that Swift tries to destroy the beauty of Celia and stating the true fact concerning what makes Celia be a goddess.

Something which is very much interesting in the poem "The Lady's Dressing Room" is when Celia comes out of the room, the illusion of the beauty she has goes with her. Strephon is seen setting to work and unveils the truth which is disgusting immediately Celia is gone. Thus assuming Celia was present, Strephon could not be able to peruse through Celia's things and the illusion that he had of Celia could have not been shattered. The idea here tries to emphasize that the illusion of beauty usually is something that comes and goes.

Swift uses the romantic style to expose the truth behind Celia's beauty. The romantic style used tries to eliminate everything which stretches his tactics to the triviality of the vanity. The poem does not focus only on one woman but instead, it is a societal commentary that mocks the individuals of that time period. It is seen whereby the scenes which were depicting Strephon and Celia were almost common. By saying that a glass that can disclose the worms which are very tiny in the nose of Celia, and then Celia directs her nails faithfully to squeeze the worm out of her nose from head to tail, Swift is trying to mock the society members who think that they are very important themselves by illustrating that they that poop pimples after popping them.

The elevated language of the poem indicates that Swift is not just accusing women of their vanity but he makes some fun of men also. The poem casts some harshly light on Celia and on the other hand, Strephon is viewed as an idiot absolutely.

Swift being a Christian tends to hate the pride in human or the illusion that can come beyond the sinfulness of creatures which have fallen and impure never missed any chance to shatter the illusion. On the other hand, the Pope was very much okay with the illusion when he wrote the poem. Even though both the two writers look upon the upper class, Pope unmasks them in a manner which is more subtle. While Swift discusses the things that are not talked of in the polite society, Pope talks more about the society which is polite. Therefore both Pope and Swift argue about the weaknesses of the upper class and then conclude that the upper class is not perfect the way they pretend to be yet how they get it is totally different.

Swift was arguing from many approaches. For instance one of the arguments he could be having is the truth that the higher class women in the society are very generous as time goes by as they prepare to become ready. The assumption here is that the more perfect they looked, the more easy time for the lovers, suitors, and husbands to chose them to be a wife. Again individuals of the lower class would identify that a woman was wealthy and thus needs treatment which is respectful.

In the event of Celia taking less time to dress, she would imagine that she does not appropriately look for her people's class and would realize that she would be judged harshly because she does not look smart as her friends do. Swift, therefore, mocks and satirizes the upper-class individuals in her poem the "The Lady's Dressing Room." The reason could be that the upper-class women careless of the personality they share with other fellows but instead care more about their looks. This also ties in the men's vanity as well. Swift concludes by saying that men ought not to sticks nor snoop their noses on the things which are far away from them. In that women are viewed as terrible parts and only wrong is seen in them.

In the entire poem of Pope which is the "Rape of the Lock," the manner in which the upper class spends their time is clearly stated because of the fact that it is written in the mock epic poem. The poems which are epic are normally full of all kinds of adventures which are exciting like the battles, tales, heroes, and God. Belinda wakes up in contrast then gets inside the boat to go to a party and then she receives a cut in the hair. Again Belinda turns to be a warrior in a battle in the third canto. The strate3gy she uses to defeat her opponents reveals how intellect and the impressive skills she has.

"The skillful Nymph who is reviewing her force with a lot of care, she claims that the spades to trump and they became." The above stanza illustrates that Belinda's fighting and the strategies for fighting are very impressive though she does not participate in the battle totally. The card game is depicted in a way that it is a battle, therefore, since Belinda might be winning, the similarities of the trivial game seen above reduce any importance Belinda gains from winning.

The juxtaposition used by Pope in the trivial problems with some huge ones to seriously mock how they were viewed by that upper class. It is illustrated that; " Whether Diana's law shall be broken by Nymph, or the Flaw received by some China Frail Jar, or her Honor get stained, or forget the prayers, or lose her Heart, Or miss a Masquerade, at a Ball." It is obvious that obstacles, like losing a heart or losing her virginity, are very serious problems than losing a necklace or even spilling something on a dress.

Pope is trying to unmask illusions of different kinds in his poem which Swift did not do. Swift claimed that the beauty of Celia masked her humanness state which is regrettable. Pope, on the other hand, claims that the beauty of Belinda is covering up the intelligence she posses. The fortunate thing is that the time Pope moves Belinda away from her intelligence and then back into the world of vain where she lives by cutting her hair off, the poem changes to materialize very quickly.

Pope also tries to illustrate how the upper class is concerned about their material possession. By making "fans to clap, the Whalebones which are tough cracks and the rustle Silks," Pope is trying to elevate the importance of upper class to come to the same level where other people are. In short, the materialism of the upper class comes at a certain price and then they lose the humanity they have.

"Belinda is beautiful and the whole sylphs' team is protecting her. Therefore there is no one who can resist the charms she has." In this illustration, the Pope tries to portray Belinda's beauty in such a manner that it appears to be the only thing she has. "Yet the ease of graceful, and the pride's sweetest void, might not reveal her faults, the faults to hide were present in Belle: and if some female error fall is shared in her, see on her face, then you will all be forgotten." The main content in the above stanza is that she might be looking nice which is very okay, but to forget how silly she is being that she is a woman, all that matters is the beauty she posses.

Later in the poem when Pope displays Belinda to be playing the system, the society only sees Belinda's beauty when Ariel gets her thoughts. Ariel extolls the virtues of Belinda in the whole poem. Pope is claiming that Belinda can be beautiful and vain but she cannot be vain, beautiful and intelligent.

Another way in which Pope gives the silliness is not only the battle with cards but in a manner in which the people usually battle. Pope illustrates how silly their battles are in the end when women are seen killing men with the frowns and the restoring them back with the smiles. Since, Pope's poem is similar to a mock epic poem, the words, frowns and smiles being the weapons show how the society is off.

Misogyny is also exhibited in the Pope's poem through the male-female relationship mockery. All over the poem, Belinda is viewed as the object of desire and the pursuer is the Baron. It is clearly reflecting the male-female relationship at that given moment. However, the Pope tends to satirize the action by terming the loss of hair a "rape." The offense of the story at large should focus on both the aggressiveness of Baron and the vanity of Belinda, but rather lies, to the feminist's detriment on Belinda. All the blames are placed upon Belinda by Pope. Thus it turns again to complicate the male-female relationship concept.

Pope tends to reason circularly on the critiques of women's vanity in the following ways; men are always attracted by beautiful women, women do add more efforts on their physical beauty, the appearance of women makes them become over-indulgent, women are mocked by men. This seems to be more counter-productive.

The attitude of the Pope towards women is clearly revealed at the start of the poem. The letter he wrote to Arabella states that "I understand how it is very disagreeable before a lady to make use of difficult words." Pope also says that it is the modern ladies nature to "let an action not to be very trivial in itself, they normally causes an appearance of the very most importance." Therefore it is a gross injustice to allow men freedom in the society to assault and abuse women's personhood.

The character of Pope towards women finally shows a picture which very negative. Like women are seen as the illogical, conniving, untruthful and of most important, they are inferior to men. Belinda's anger is ridiculed by Pope and he does not seem to have an understanding of why women could become very angry over some small matters. He does not show due respect to the autonomy of women and he buys into the whole women's perception. The Rape of the Lock shows a very strong injustice to women and it only serves to give out the stereotypes which are negative and the generalizations concerning the character of females.

While Pope and Swift may have not gone deep in revealing the society follies and also women, in the same manner, there is a common theme that is there in both the poems. The theme is the unfortunate benefits of beauty and what is hidden in it. Beauty is hiding flaws according to Swift while beauty is hiding intelligence according to Pope.

Cite this page

Essay Example on Restoration and 18th Century Literature. (2023, Jan 13). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism