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Heroic or Epic poems are poems like the Odyssey, the Aeneid, and Paradise Lost dealing with man in his exalted aspects. Their action is weighty, their personages are dignified and their style is elevated. In all the epics, gods and daemons, take active part in human affairs and guide their destiny. In contrast, the mock-epic is a poetic form which uses the epic structure but on a miniature scale and has a subject that is mean and trivial. The purpose of the mock-epic or mock-heroic poem is satirical. In fact, a mock-heroic poem is not a satire on poetry itself, but the target of the attack may be a person or an institution or the whole society. The subject of such a poem is trivial or unimportant, but the treatment of the subject is heroic or epic and such exaggeration of the trivial naturally arouses laughter. The pleasure of the poem, as Ian Jack points out, ensues from:
“comparing small men to giants and making pygmies of them in the process”
That Pope was conscious of his intentions to make The Rape of the Lock a mock-epic is evident from the title. Homer’s Iliad which describes the events arising out of Helen’s elopement with a Trojan prince and the war between the Greeks and the Trojans can be appropriately described as a poem dealing with the “Rape of Helen”. The title of Pope’s poem, The Rape of the Lock is thus a parody of the Iliad in this sense; for in this poem, the mighty contest ensues from the assault on the lock of Belinda’s hair. The Rape of the Lock parodies the serious epics not only in it title but also in the overall structure. At the beginning, there is invocation to the Muse as in an epic. Pope imitates as in:
“I sing – this verse to Caryll Muse! is due/ This ev’n Belinda may vouchsafe to view: Slight is the subject, but not so the praise/ If she inspire, and he approve my lays”
The invocation, the description of the heroine’s toilet, the journey to Hampton Court , the game of ombre magnified into a pitched battle all lead up to the moment when the peer produces the fatal scissors. But the action of the mortals was not enough. Pope knew that in true epics the affairs of men were aided by the Heavenly Powers. He, therefore, added the supernatural beings – sylphs, gnomes and nymphs– as agents in the story. The gods of the epic are heroic beings, but pope’s deities are tiny. Unlike the deities of the epics, who act guardian agents of the epic heroes, Belinda’s guardian sylph, Ariel is an ineffectual airy being who deserts her at the critical moment. The supernatural machinery mocks at the epic deities. Pope describes the diminutive gods as:
“the light militia of the lower sky”
Belinda screams like the Homeric poems and dashed like the characters of the great epics. We find a battle drawn to combat like the Greek warriors but it is only a game of cards on a dressing table. There are several instances of Burlesque-treatment. There is Belinda’s voyage to Hampton Court which suggests the voyage of Aeneas up to the Tiber in Virgil. There is a coffee party which is a parody of the meals frequency described in Homer. The combat at the end recalls the fighting which is found anywhere in the ancient epics. The Cave of Spleen is a parody of an allegorical picture from poets like Spenser. Just before the cutting of the lock, when Ariel searches out the close recess of the virgin’s thoughts. There he finds an earthly lover lurking in her heart, and Pope tells us that Ariel retires with a sigh, resigned to fate. This situation echoes the moment in Paradise Lost when after the fall of Adam and Eve, the Angles of God retire sad to heaven. Belinda’s dressing and cosmetics has been described in a way that would suit the arming of a warrior like Achilles. She appears as:
On her breast a sparking cross she wore/ Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
Though the subject matter of the Rape of the Lock is trivial and ridiculous, the style, diction and versification are rarely so. The diction is exalted and the heroic-couplets are carefully polished and chiseled. Mock-epic is an example of the collation of the great with the little. In the Rape of the Lock, Pope frequently juxtaposes the heroic with the trivial to produce the mock-epic effect. The very opening couplet juxtaposes “Mighty contest” with trivial things”. In following couplet, chastity is equated with ‘frail China jar’. The effect of this juxtaposition is highly amusing and startling.
Whether the nymph shall break Diana’s law, Or some frail China jar receive a flaw,
The Rape of the Lock is a highly subtle and complex mock-epic. It is a nearly perfect example of its genre. The genre of the mock-epic not only because it parodies the epic conventions throughout, but also because it provides a highly amusing drama of its own rights. The greatness of the poem is due to Pope’s genius as well as to the care and pains he took in a different form. The balance between the concealed irony and the assumed gravity is as nicely trimmed as the balance of power in Europe. The little is made great and the great little. You hardly know whether to laugh or weep. It is the triumph of insignificance of foppery and folly. It is the perfection of the mock-heroic.

MA English: The Rape of the Lock as a Mock-Epic by Alexender Pope



The sun occupies central position in the phenomenon of nature. Its radiation injects life into every object of nature. The entire progress of the world civilization is based upon the vitality of the sun. And the sun, under eclipse, loses its light, and color also. All the colors of the earth turn into darkness life lose all its movement and grandeur.

Our earth is a planet and in a big solar system it revolves around the sun. The sun gives heat, light, movement and color to the world. Hence with the return of the light in the sun, the whole civilization seemed to have returned and the life was in full swing. Thus, the fabric of civilization was modeled and molded contains the main theme and refers to the importance of the sun. Virginia Woolf, in Eclipse, observed the making and birth of civilization which was completed in very few seconds. But it was like knitting the fabric of civilization not by a machine; but by nature itself.

Virginia says that the solar eclipse lasted only for 24 seconds. As the eclipse ended, the light of the sun rose again. The lifeless and the colorless world, once again, became “solid”.
"It became a place where an infinite number of farmhouses, of villages, of railway lines have lodgment; until the whole fabric of civilization was modeled and molded."
People saw the sun going into darkness. The sun lost its darkness. The clouds seemed to eat up the sun totally. The world got dark. The blue colour changed to purple and pink faces look green. When the sun returns, the world is bright again. People begin to smile and landscape of the area becomes clear. The experience of eclipse is great and the main theme from the above account is that the colors of the world can be finished because they are not permanent. Virginia Woolfe commented
“The flesh and blood of the world was dead”.
The death of the sun is the death of the earth itself. Without sun, the earth is again primitive despite its lots of scientific advancements. Colors and contours of the earth are only realized by the solar light. Color is life which is enlivened by the sun and sun is thus source of energy and life on the earth.

BA English: Main Theme of Eclipse by Virginia Woolfe



1. Curriculum n. The courses of study offered by an educational institution
The teachers met to design a new curriculum for the Intensive English Program.

2. Distinctly adv. Clearly
I distinctly remember saying that we would meet at noon.

3. Erudite adj. Highly educated
Even though Stella was only a freshman, she was considered erudite by both her classmates and her professors.

4. Fortify
v. To strengthen
The high-priced drink had extra vitamins and minerals to fortify the body.

5. Implicitly adv. Without being stated; unquestioningly
By joining the competition, she agreed implicitly to the rules.

6. Parochial adj. Restricted in outlook; relating to the local parish
Marla moved from her rural community to get away from its parochial thinking.
Sending your children to a parochial school can cost as much as sending them to college.

7. Rigor
n. Strictness; difficult situations that come from following rules strictly
The wrestler followed his diet with rigor.
The rigors of military life toughened the young men quickly.

8. Roster n. A list, especially of names
Two of the names on the roster were misspelled.

9. Secular adj. Worldly rather than spiritual; not related to religion
Few private schools in the United States are secular.

10. Suspend v. To cause to stop for a period; to hang as to allow free movement
The trial was suspended when the judge learned that one of the jury members knew the defense lawyer.
The circus acrobat was suspended in midair.

IELTS Vocabulary (7) Expertise




1. Agnostic adj. Believing that humans cannot know whether there is a god
His devoutly Christian parents had problems with his agnostic beliefs.

2. Animism n. The belief that natural objects, such as trees, have souls
Desert cultures that practice animism often believe that winds contain spirits.

3. Atheist n. One who does not believe in the existence of a supreme being
He argued that his scientific training made it impossible for him to be anything but an atheist.

4. Be inclined to v. To favor an opinion or a course of action
He couldn’t say which candidate he favored, but he had always been inclined to vote Republican.

5. Contemplate v. To consider thoughtfully
If you contemplate each step for so long, we will never complete this project on time.

6. Deify v. To worship as a god
When people deify the leader of their country, the leader is able to abuse power more easily.

7. Ecclesiastical adj. Relating to a church
He was looking specifically for a university where he could study ecclesiastical history.

8. Exalt
v. To praise or honor
He would often exalt the virtues of his new wife.

9. Pious adj. Having or exhibiting religious reverence
Sometimes she was so pious that the rest of us felt like heathens.

10. Sacrifice
v. Anything offered to a deity as a religious thanksgiving; giving up something in order to have something more valuable later on
Every harvest time, the Fadeloni people sacrificed vegetables to their gods as a show of thanks.

IELTS Vocabulary (6) Spirituality

Liaqat Ali khan expected advanced western countries and America to help the backward countries of Asia. He also expected them to lead the way to peace and prosperity. He pointed out that most of the Asian countries had been ruled by colonial powers during the past two or three centuries. The west had made quick progress during this period but they could not make any progress. They had used science and technology to exploit their resources. They had improved the lot of their people. They were world leaders in the fields of science, industry, and civilization.

Liaqat Ali khan told them that many Asian countries had won their freedom in recent years but they were all poor and backward. The gap between the standard of living of western nations and that of the poor nations was very wide. This factor alone might cause serious danger to world peace. The rich and advanced west could play an important role in making the situation less explosive. The western nations should share their fund of knowledge, skill and experience with the under-developed countries. They should help them in the field of science and technology. They should fulfill their responsibility of promoting peace and democracy in the world.

They must show that true democracy is international in spirit. It should resist aggression anywhere in the world. For world peace, Asia must be made stronger. War and peace, progress and prosperity are all indivisible today. America and the West should share their knowledge and experience with the backward nations; otherwise, Pakistan cannot play its role in promoting peace. It is clear that stable Pakistan guarantees peace and prosperity in south Asia.

BA English: Liaqat Ali Khan’s Expectations from the Western World



The variety of Donne’s love poetry is really remarkable. He hinges between physical and holy love, between cynicism and faith in love and above all the sanctity of married life. He was born at the time when writing love-poems was both a fashionable and literary exercise. Donne showed his talent in this genre. Donne does not lay stress on beauty or rather the aesthetic element in passion. His poems are sensuous and fantastic. He goes through the whole gamut of passion. Dryden writes:
“Donne affects the metaphysics not only in his satires but in his amorous verses where nature only should reign. He perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts and entertain them with love”
His poems are entirely different from the Elizabethan love-lyrics. They are singular for their fascination, charm and depth of feeling. In “Apparition”, Donne changes the whole concept of love:
“When by thy scorn, o murderess,/ I am dead/ And that thou think’st thee free/ From all solicitations from me, / Then shall my ghost come to thy bed”
Tenderness and sentiment are not the qualities to be found in Donne’s poetry. Donne in “Lover’s Infinitenesse”, pleads with his beloved that she should give him a part of her heart. After she has given him the part, he demands the whole heart. This is the goal and consummation of love. He then startles and outrages the expectations of his readers.
“I long to talk with some old lover’s ghost;/Who died before that God of love was born, / Twice or thrive had I loved thee, /Before I knew they face or name.”
Donne’s love poems can be divided under three phases. Firstly, there is the cynical which is anti-woman and hostile to the fair-sex. The poet, through a series of images, proves that it is impossible to find a true and faithful woman as it is equally impossible to produce a child from a mandrake root. Petrarchan and Elizabethan poets honored woman as the goddess, but Donne sometimes mocked at them. Frailty, thy name is woman was quite popular in Donne’s time as we see in “Song”:
“Goe, and catche a falling star/ Get with child a mandrake roote”
Secondly, there is the strand of happy married life of conjugal love in poems like “A Valediction: forbidding mourning”. Thirdly, there is the Platonic strand, as in “The Canonization” where love is regarded as a holy emotion like the worship of a devotee to God. Donne’s treatment of love-poems is realistic and not idealistic because he knows the weakness of the flesh, pleasures of sex, the joy of secret meetings. However, he tries to establish the relationship between body and soul. True love doesn’t pertain to the body; it is the relationship of body and soul to the other soul. Physical union may not be necessary as in A Valediction: a forbidding mourning, written on the poet’s temporary separation from his wife. During absence, the lovers’ two souls are not separated but undergo:
“An expansion, Like gold to airy thinness beat.”
However, in the Relic, the poet regarded physical union as the necessary complement. Despite the realistic touches, Donne nowhere seems to draw the physical beauty or contours of the female body. Rather, he describes its reaction on the lover’s heart. It is highly surprising that a poet so fond of sex, be restrained from describing the physical patterns of the female body. That sex is holy whether inside or outside marriage is declared by Donne in his love-poems. If love is mutual, physical union even outside marriage cannot be condemned. As a Christian, he may not justify extra-marital relationships, but as a lover, he does accept and enjoy this reality. Donne feels that love-bond is necessary for sexual union otherwise mere sex without any spiritual love is mean. However, true love can exist outside marriage. He doesn’t feel that woman is a sex-doll or a goddess. She is essentially a bundle of contradictions. He believes in ‘Frailty, thy name is woman’. His contempt for woman is compensated by his respect for conjugal love. At times, he regards woman as the angel who can give him ultimate bliss. This two-fold attitude is Donne’s typical quality. He broke with the traditional Petrarchan concept of poetry and created passion and though in his poems. Donne shows the supremacy of true love, which is the merger of two souls as in The Sun Rising:
“Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, / Nor houres, dayes, monthes, which are the rages of time.”
Donne has certainly been an innovator of a new kind of love-poetry. What surprises the reader is the variety of different moods and situations of the theme of love – sensual, violent, and full of vivacity of life. There is scorn, cynicism, bitterness and sarcasm but the force of love is genuine. Donne is one of the greatest English love-poets who revolutionized the concept of love.

MA English: John Donne as a Love Poet or Donne's Treatment of Women