The two narrative poems, ‘Cousin Kate’ and ‘The Seduction’ have a number of similarities between them, such as the poems are both based on love and the misuse of women. However, the two poems are also very different in some ways. For instance, the reactions to love vary in the poems.
‘Cousin Kate’ was set in the 1860’s and ‘The Seduction’ was set in the 1970’s, therefore, the poems are set one hundred years apart from each other. It is due to this that they have many differences between them. The difference in time contributes to the language that the poems have been written in. The two poems are also set in different areas. ‘Cousin Kate is set in the rural countryside, and ‘The Seduction’ is set in an urban area. An example of a difference is the way their emotions and views on love are presented. For the reason that the poems are set in different centuries, people thought of love differently, they did have the same morals or reactions to the pregnancies.
‘Cousin Kate’ was written by a female poet called Christina Rossetti. The poem is divided into six stanzas. It consists of an abcb rhyming scheme. For instance, the poet has rhymed ‘air and fair’. The rhyming of the words allows the poem to be read fluently and in a rhythmic pattern. The poem could be sing-songed to seem more interesting to listen to.
This poem consists of three main characters – the Cottage Maiden, Cousin Kate and the Great Lord. The three characters have three very diverse personalities in the poem. The poem is written in the first person, from the Cottage Maiden’s point of view, therefore, she is describing her feelings throughout the poem. On the other hand, you can only observe Cousin Kate and the Great Lord through the Cottage Maiden’s eyes and consequently, you do not know their full characters.
This poem is about the Cottage Maiden who falls in love with a man, he is referred to as the Great Lord to show that he is wealthy and has a high status in society. The Cottage Maiden does not see herself clearly, and so she flattered when the Great Lord takes her home with him. However, he then deserts her for her Cousin Kate.
Firstly, the Cottage Maiden was cheerful with how her life was, prior to her encounter with the Great Lord. This is shown when the poet describes her outlook on life as “contented.” This suggests she was not ecstatic about the way she lived her life, but it could have been worse and she was grateful for what she had.
Furthermore, she never used to pay attention to her appearance. “Not mindful I was fair,” suggests she was oblivious to her beauty. She saw herself as plain and simple and did not make an effort to make herself look beautiful or fine-looking, she never wore make-up. She proceeded through life, not from shifting her daily routine. She saw herself as a cottage maiden and nothing more. She was unaware that she was pretty or attractive.
She regrets her first-acquaintance with the Great Lord. This is shown by the question:
“Why did a...