18th Century Handout
Pope's The Rape of the Lock
- How does Pope mock the epic tradition?
- What is the function of Ariel, the sylphs, and the
- What's going on in the card game?
- What does the language at I.121-48 suggest about
- How is chastity portrayed?
- What is the poet saying about virtue and especially
about the way it gets trivialized?
- Do you find any allusions to Paradise Lost?
- What do Thalestris and Clarissa represent? What do they
say in their respective speeches?
Swift's "A Modest Proposal"
- Who is the speaker of this "proposal"? Is it Swift? Or
is it a character he invents? What aspects of the speaker's character emerge?
- To what audience does the proposal seem to be addressed?
- To what "previous proposals" does the speaker refer?
- What is the "modest proposal," exactly?
- What advantages and disadvantages to the proposal
- Near the end, what other proposals for solving the
"Irish problem" does the speaker mention in passing? Are these sound? Why
have they been rejected?
- Where does Swift seem, in this piece, to lay the blame
for Ireland's current conditions?
- What problem(s) is Swift criticizing?
- How does this essay work as satire?
Swift's Gulliver's Travels
- Where do you think Gulliver falls on a continuum between
Yahoo (total passion) and Houyhnhnm (total reason)?
- One would think that the Houyhnhnms are an ideal worthy
of emulation. Is that true or not? In what ways are they less than ideal?
- What does Gulliver do with his realization? Think, in
particular, about his relationship with Pedro de Mendez and his reactions once
he arrives home.
- To what extent may Gulliver's problem be that he cannot
distinguish between surface and depth?