Analysis Of “Cousin Kate” By Christina Rossetti

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Analysis of “Cousin Kate” by Christina Rossetti This poem was written by Christina Rossetti in the late Victorian time, on the 19th Century. It is not a typical poem of its time context because of its theme and as we can see analyzing it, Christina although making her meaning clear, uses ambiguities, double senses. Simply because in that time, women would be seen as impure and as an “outcast thing” if they had affairs while being not married. This controversial poem to the Victorian era is a letter to the narrator’s cousin about her feelings. In the poem, the narrator was having an affair with a lord. As they weren’t married and had a child, the narrator was seen as impure by the society and so, he cast her by choosing her cousin Kate. During the whole poem she talks about how her love for him was truthful while he used her like a “golden knot”, like an object made her a fool. She compares her situation to Kate’s and in some way reproves her choice of accepting him by “If she had fooled not me but you/ If you stood where I stand/… I would have spit into his face/and not have taken his hand”. We can also notice jealousy when she compares “… I sit in howl and dust/you sit in gold and sing” and “He lifted you from the mean estate/to sit with him on high/I was a cottage-maiden/… Contented with my cottage-mates,/ Not mindful I was fair”. Finally, she finishes Stanza 5 with a rhetorical question “Why did a great lord find me out/To fill my heart with care?” to pass to the last stanza as a conclusion where she almost sounding triumphant says that despite the lord has preferred Kate, the narrator has a gift Kate has not, being fertile, and because of that she would probably be also dumped soon as we can see when she claims “Your sire

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