restricted access Commodity and Religion in Pope’s The Rape of the Lock

Discussions of the religious imagery in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock have either been insubstantial or have largely ignored the potent signifying potential of the Bibles scattered among Belinda’s other consumer goods. Drawing on the robust tradition of sola scriptura in Protestant England during the period leading up to Pope’s early career, this essay argues that the Bible in canto 1 comes to represent a yoking together of two ideological strains of thought, concerned with not only the signifying potential of the Bible but also the burgeoning “consumer crisis” and corresponding shifts in political and economic theory.