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"Make a Detailed Comparison of Two Poems About Betrayed in Love"

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"Make a Detailed Comparison of Two Poems About Betrayed in Love" I have been analysing the two poems, "Cousin Kate," by Christina Rossetti, and, "The Seduction," by Eileen McAuley. Both of these poems share the same theme. The two poems are both based on betrayed love but they each deal with a different aspect. "Cousin Kate," is set in the eighteenth century. It is the tale of a poor "cottage maiden" who gets found out by a wealthy lord. She then falls in love with him and has his child before being dropped as the lord moves onto "Cousin Kate." The poem is set out as the maiden telling us the story of how she was used and how he exchanged her for another woman. A good line that describes this is, "...He wore me like a silken knot, he changed me like a glove." This tells us that he felt he could use her like an item of clothing and discard her when he wished due to his wealthy position in life. ...read more.


"Cousin Kate" deals with social standings. People are still judged by class now although it was much more important in the eighteenth century. The lord was able to get what he wanted from her as he was a lord and she was just a mere 'cottage maiden.' In the eighteenth century sex before marriage was greatly looked down upon. It could be said that the lord ruined the maiden and the poet tries to get this across in the line, "...so now I moan, an unclean thing, who might have been a dove..." Unlike "Cousin Kate," the girl in "The seduction" does not fall for her seducer because of his charm or possessions but by the use of alcohol. We get this from such lines as, "...as he brought her more drinks, so she fell in love..." In both poems the man takes advantage of the woman but by different methods. Also in both poems it is the woman who has the ever-lasting reminders. ...read more.


In McAuley's poem the second half contrasts with the first. The first half talks about the actual night of the seduction making it sound meaningless. The second half of the poem talks about lost dreams and the fact that her life has been ruined and all for nothing. The tone is slightly different in "Cousin Kate." The poem starts as a lament, and the girl making herself sound the victim. This changes in the last verse. Kate may have a ring on her finger and the respect of the community but the girl in the poem has something Kate does not have. She has the gift of life, she has her son. Both of these poems are quite moving. I prefer "The Seduction" because it is much more detailed in imagery and I can relate more to this poem as it seems more relevant to modern day society. Teenage pregnancy does happen in huge numbers around the world today and many of these young mothers are left without a father for their child. The poem tackles modern issues and tries to bring awareness to it. ...read more.

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