Pope’s The Rape of the Lock is a noted example of the Mock-Heroic style; indeed, Pope never deviates from mimicking epic poetry such as Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid .
The overall form of the poem, written in cantos, follows the tradition of epics, along with the precursory “Invocation of the Muse”; in this case, Pope's Muse is literally the person who prodded him to write the poem, John Caryll: “this verse to Caryll, Muse, is due! Epics always include foreshadowing which is usually given by an otherworldly figure, and Pope mocks tradition through Ariel the sprite, who sees some “dread event” (line 109) impending on Belinda.
In this context was created the parody of epic genre.
Lo scherno degli dèi (The Mockery of Gods) by Francesco Bracciolini, printed in 1618 is often regarded as the first Italian poema eroicomico.
Beside the Spanish picaresque novels and the French burlesque novel, in Italy flourished the poema eroicomico.
In this country those who still wrote epic poems, following the rules set by Torquato Tasso in his work Discorsi del poema eroico (Discussions about the Epic Poems) and realized in his masterwork, the Jerusalem Delivered, were felt as antiquated.
Additionally, there were a few attempts at a mock-heroic novel.
The most significant later mock-heroic poems were by Alexander Pope.
The strained and unexpected rhymes increase the comic effect and heighten the parody.
This formal indication of satire proved to separate one form of mock-heroic from the others.