The present inquiry is to throw light on the functions of the Sylphs that are supernatural but is entrusted to preserve the well being of a chosen few female sexes belonging to elite social strata. Though on a different order, the actions of the Sylphs resemble to ghosts and supernatural forces that dominate nature and humans in medieval literature, having several identical features that contribute much to their considerable bearing in the work. While considering the functions of Sylphs we must ascertain whether the concept of supernatural dominating the affairs of natural is true to “The Rape of the Lock” as well.
The Sylphs’ presence is remarkable even in the opening of the poems itself as they prolong her sleep and produce dreams in her mind. needless to say it avers their unquestionable bearing on the lives of Virgins elegant class. The polemic of supernatural dominating the natural is stressed even at the beginning of the poems itself. Making a mock-epic twist, Pope makes Arial say that it is only the spirits of vain-glorious, fashionable, flirtatious, quarrelsome, querulous, ostentatious women become the legitimate denizens of the air.
These words of Ariel are meant to place Sylphs as the select supernatural beings who are of no mean birth and their actions to are of considerable import as they can decide the destiny of the precious women. So their clout on the affairs of humanity is obvious and unassailable. they are like supernatural elements in Shakespeare determine the ways of humans. So humans are only a ploy for executing their plans and it is obviously verbalized when Ariel begins by imparting a truth that not all people can know them since there is the prime requisite of certain qualities in the human that alone can make them sensible to Sylphs’ actions.
It is a pointer to their loftiness while still underscores the meanness of humans, except for the stray examples like .Bellinda, and in the opening of the poem itself the head of the sylph, Ariel is all out for declaring their space and significance in the universe, these words explicitly pin down the main motif that they belong to a different order of elegance and such qualities can be seen imbued in a sizable number of mortals. .