The poem satirises a petty squabble by comparing it to the epic world of the gods. It was based on an incident recounted by Pope's friend, John Caryll. Arabella Fermor and her suitor, Lord Petre, were both from aristocratic Catholic families at a period in England when Catholicism was legally proscribed. Petre, lusting after Arabella, had cut off a lock of her hair without permission, and the consequent argument had created a breach between the two families. Pope wrote the poem at the request of friends in an attempt to "comically merge the two." He utilised the character Belinda to represent Arabella and introduced an entire system of "sylphs," or guardian spirits of virgins, a parodic version of the gods and goddesses of conventional epic. -- Wikipedia.
Alexander Pope—The Rape Of The Lock