A precocious child who ‘‘lisped in numbers, for the numbers came’’, Alexander Pope was destined to be the greatest poet of the Age of Reason for the next three generations. The Rape of the Lock, published in 1712, is not merely the most felicitous and characteristic of his poems; according to lowell, ‘‘taken all in all, it is the most perfect poem in the language’’. ‘‘In The Rape of the Lock’’ says an American critic, ‘‘Pope has caught and fixed for ever the atmosphere of the age’’, It is the most dramatic of all Pope’s poems revealing the hollowness of the eighteenth-century life. This critical study, originally prepared by Dr. Raghukul Tilak, has now been thoroughly edited, revised and updated by Prof. Shakti Batra.

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