Alexander Pope has designed The Rape of the Lock as the representative works depicting Belinda as the model of the common fashionable ladies of his time. Belinda is the chief attraction and she becomes the heroine of it. She is the only leading character. Yet her screams and the flashes of lightening from her eyes are compared to those of an epic hero.
There are several aspects of the personality of Belinda as portrayed by Pope in The Rape of the Lock. At the very outset of the poem, we see her as an idle and late-rising aristocratic lady who possesses keen interest in domestic pets. Her idleness is established when we see her sleeping unto twelve. Besides, they felt interested in the love letters of their so-called beloved. When Belinda at last got up from bed after having been licked by Shock, her eyes first opened on a love-letter.
Therefore, she is full of vanities and loves gilded chariots and ombre. At the same time, she is ambitious to get married to peers and dukes or to other high officials. This is why she frequently visits the Hampton Court in the river Thames. She passes an aristocratic life and mixes with the Barons recklessly.
Moreover, Belinda is the embodiment of the coquetry, the art, the artifice and the false pride. However, Ariel acquaints us with her flirtatious nature when exhorting his fellow spirits to remain vigilant. Ariel discovers surprisingly that in spite of all her pretence, she is amorously inclined towards a gallant.
Then, we get the picture of her shallow outlook about religious faiths and beliefs. She is a worshiper of beauty who prays to the goddess of beauty and offers all the items of cosmetics before her. She is a typical presentation of women’s excessive attention to self decoration and embellishment. She gathers all the fashionable items from all over the world-Indian glowing gems, Arabian perfumes, files of pins, puffs, powders, patches etc. In a satirical passage, Pope describes Belinda in a Confucius mood before her dressing table.
Here files of pains extend their shining rows,
Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.
Thus, assigned by her maid Betty, Belinda seeks to improve her bodily charms. However, she does not show any respect for the holly book, Bible.
Therefore, the moral bankruptcy of these ladies is further ridiculed when Thalestris points out the need for sacrificing everything, even chastity, for reputation. They consider that virtue might be lost, but not a good name.
To wind up we can say that The Rape of the Lock is a mockery of the manners of the tea-cup times of Queen Anne. Here, Pope seeks to throw light upon the fickle minded fashionable ladies of the 18th century England depicting Belinda as the representative character.