Essay Analysis of Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti

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Analysis of Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti

'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti describes a cottage maiden who was seduced and used by the lord of the estate for which she worked. She was surprised and taken a back by the fact that someone so great and powerful could be slightly interested in her, and so she automatically fell in love with him. It wasn't until after he had slept with her that he left her for her cousin, Kate. The cottage maiden was devastated that he had done that to her. She felt unclean and unwanted. The lord asked for Kate's hand in marriage and she accepted.
The cottage maid thought that he married Kate because she was innocent and pure, 'Because you were so good and pure/He bound you with his ring' -
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Men would then look down on you in disgust, as would friends and family. The poem demonstrates how a man can love a woman, then throw her away and move onto another as he pleases, and because he was a Lord the cottage maiden could not say a thing. This brings into light the difference between higher and lower class people. If the cottage maiden had said anything, people would not believe her and turn a blind eye to her and to her accusations. According to the maiden, Kate's love was not real. 'O cousin Kate my love was true, your love was writ in sand'.
This tells us that Kate's love was going to disappear and was only a temporary emotion which was later just blown away like writing in the sand, whilst the maiden's love was real. The maiden may just be saying this for revenge against Cousin Kate to try and make herself feel better but we do not know. The Lord's love towards the maiden was not real, 'His plaything and his love'. 'Plaything' and 'love' are two very different contrasts with each other. Did he really love her for a while or was it all just a game to him? He used her and made her believe that he liked her then left her for Kate.

The maiden was infatuated by the Lord and fell in love with him instantly. He used this, his power and his wealth against the maiden.
The Lord casts off the female once he meets Kate, who is 'fairer' than the narrator. This shows that males do not always get emotionally involved in

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