Introduction: Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) is a poet and critic of the English Neoclassical period (1660 – 1785). He is best known for his poems ”An Essay on Criticism” (1711), ”The Rape of the Lock” (1712). Clarissa is one of the characters in ”The Rape of the Lock”.
The character of Clarissa
Real heroine: Clarissa is one of the women in attendance at the Hampton Court party. She is a friend of the main heroine, Belinda. In canto 5, We get her witty speech by which we can say that she is the real heroine.
Scissor supplier: Clarissa lends a pair of scissors to Baron. Then he cuts off Belinda’s hair with these. Supplying scissors is an important incident in the poem. For that, the story has been completed.
Read More: The supernatural elements of the poem The Rape of the Lock
Practical character: In canto 5, She delivers her speech in such a way that we are compelled to address her as practical character. For example, she declares that a woman needs her good sense to get love to a man. She says if any woman scorns man she has to die without marriage. She says:
”And she who scorns a man must die a maid”.
She asserts that a woman needs her beauty of mind to get a man’s love instead of her physical charms.
Pope’s commentator: All the moral teachings of the poem have been delivered by the poet in the mouth of Clarissa.