A typical epic convention is the extensive description of the soldiers preparing for battle, such as in The Iliad where Homer extensively describes the armour and weaponry of Achilles – the hero of the story. Perhaps Pope was influenced greatly through his readings of Homer’s work – which he carried out from a young age – but he also chooses to describe Belinda as if she was going off to battle by detailing her preparation, using her “Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bible, Billet–doux”. He finally states that “Now awful Beauty puts on all its Arms” which signifies she’s ready for battle. Pope is clearly poking fun at Belinda by making her seem noble at first, like a soldier, and then crushing this image by stating that “Betty’s prais’d for labours not her own” and in fact the Sylphs were the one who carried out these “labours”. However, these were no labours at all. Pope is merely mocking Belinda and even the Sylphs again – for they involve themselves with trivial matters – by satirising high class society in which preparing your appearance would be seen as a “labour”, and this Belinda doesn’t even carry out herself.
All the aforementioned conventions which Pope parodies share a religious theme which is almost crucial in anything epic. God – or Gods for that matter – are continuously used throughout epic tales and myths and in this tale, Pope seems to paint Belinda as someone of an almost god-like status for she has eyes that can “eclipse the day” and she is “A Youth more glitt’ring than a Birth-night Beau”. However, Pope immediately mocks this portrayal of Belinda as pure and beautiful by remarking upon her “slumber” which “caus’d her cheek to glow”. Pope implies that she is not as pure as she should be which clearly contradicts her being anything special that should be guarded. This almost borders spite which perhaps originates from Pope’s bitter nature in terms of romance.
It is clear that Pope successfully mocks and satirises society and Belinda through his use of the epic conventions and by this success, the true triviality of high class society and Belinda is clearly understood.