• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast 'A red, red, rose' by Robert Burns and 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast 'A red, red, rose' by Robert Burns and 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti. Both of these poems deal with the subject of love, but their views are almost opposing. Burns whose poem was first published in 1794 writes about an idealised love, while Rossetti who wrote her poem on 18 November 1859, writes with a cynical view of romance. Burns was a famous poet in his day, he was known as "the Ploughman Poet" and his poems were said to be uncomplicated expressions of human nature. Christina Rossetti was also a well-known writer but she was always the second artist in her family after her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti and she was very aware of the second-class status of women in the Victorian age. Both Burns and Rossetti are writing narrative poetry, but unlike Rossetti, Burns is not concerned with social problems. 'A red, red, rose' by Robert Burns. The first poem, Robert Burns' A red, red rose, is written in 'Scots', being a Scottish form of English, as shown in the language of the second stanza, 'As fair art thou, my bonnie lass' and the fourth stanza, 'And fare thee weel, my only luve.' It is a lyric poem, which means that it was written to be sung to a musical accompaniment. We can tell this as it has been written in a deliberately simple manner, mostly in monosyllables ('melodie' is the longest word in the poem) ...read more.


In the opening stanza our nameless narrator tells us she was a cottage maiden, 'maiden' meaning both an unmarried girl and also an old-fashioned word for 'a virgin'. She gives us an insight of what her life was like before, putting her in a countryside setting. She also gives us an image of what she looked like, 'my flaxen hair', 'hardened by sun and air'. We understand that she was both very pretty and used to working hard for a living, which emphasizes that she was not looking for a man. This means that she was an innocent victim of a richer man. This is shown by the repetition of "Why did a great lord find me out?" In the second stanza, she tells us how the lord (the "lord of the manor" in her farming community) lured her to be his mistress and gave her joy and love but then things changed. She uses a paradox when she says she led 'a shameless shameful life,' meaning she was 'shameless' when she was in love but 'shameful' was society's view. This is a clever contradiction that makes us aware of the difference between her view and society's view. She also states she was 'an unclean thing' which shows Victorian social standards. She compares how he treated her with two similes - 'he wore me like a silken knot' and 'he changed me like a glove'. ...read more.


This is shown by the narrator's love and pride in her son ('my fair-haired son, my shame, my pride, cling closer, closer yet'). I personally prefer Robert Burn's poem 'A red, red, rose', to Christina Rossetti 'Cousin Kate'. Christina Rossetti leaves the reader, me, feeling sorry for her, not only because of what has happened to her but also because she is living for a dream that will never come true. She shows jealousy towards her cousin but uses the fact that she has a son by the Lord (and her cousin does not) as a object to keep her dream alive. Rossetti makes us feel sad for the narrator but shows that she is bitter and jealous, which lessens my sympathy for her. Whereas Robert Burns I enjoyed reading and did read over many times because it is light hearted, warm and easy reading. It also shows of a man that is deeply in love with his lover and has written this poem to show his compassionate love for her. The way he writes this poem makes the reader, me, feel as if we are there and can see how beautiful his love is. I felt joy and delight just thinking of how devoted he feels towards his lover. This poem left a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart. ?? ?? ?? ?? Literature coursework 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rossetti and 'a Red, red, rose' by Robert burns Justine best march 2006 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. A Comparison of the two poems, 'A Red, Red, Rose' by Robert Burns, and ...

    The poet's fifth stanza consists of only one line - 'Not a cute card or a kissogram': here she is trying to get across the idea that her love is not superficial, traditional or typical but individual. This line though could indicate that unlike Burns' poem this more modern poem,

  2. Love Poetry

    On the other hand, Marvell uses a lot of hyperboles, personification, similes, long vowel sounds and metaphors. Andrew Marvell's long vowel sounds are effective. '...our long love's day'. The words are associated with time and as you read out the words, you immediately realise that the long vowel sounds reflect the words.

  1. Response To Love Poetry - The Flea & Red, Red Rose

    The imagery in the poem in generally symbolic of the idea of the overpowering nature of love. The writer is comparing the likelihood of his love running out to the likelihood of things like the sea going dry or the sun melting the rocks, "Till a' the seas gang dry

  2. compare A Women To Her Lover by Christina Walsh, How Do I Love Thee? ...

    From the beginning of the poem, the love between the couple seems strong, and the hint of sadness and grief branches from the notion that death is about to tear them apart. However this is not immediately clear, since it is vague as to whether she is choosing to leave the person she is addressing, or dying.

  1. In this essay I will discuss the similarities and differences between 'A Red, Red ...

    The collection garnered much critical praise, and according to Jan Marsh, "Elizabeth Barrett Browning's death two months later led to Rossetti being hailed as her natural successor as 'female laureate'." The title poem from this book is Rossetti's best known work.

  2. Love and loss. The poems that I have chosen to compare and contrast in ...

    poet wants to be treated as an equal she also wants to be her lover's, "comrade, friend, and mate, to live work, to love and die with you." She wants a full relationship, "of passion, and of joy and sorrow."

  1. Write your response to the poems Salcombe (1948) by Gareth Owen and Sonnet by ...

    When he writes, "Your dog played as he pleased" this is a sign of obvious freedom and joyfulness around the beach. The last two lines shows us that he has a flow of good memories from that day when he writes "and barked and shook him self and Sneezed and

  2. The first poem I am going to analyse is Cousin Kate this poem is ...

    also there are two great examples of oxymoron's one is "To lead a shameless shameful life, and the other is "My fair-haired son, my shame, my pride,".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work