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Using 3 poems to date, comment on what you have learnt about women on society at the time.

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Introduction

Using 3 poems to date, comment on what you have learnt about women on society at the time. I have chosen the poems Cousin Kate, Sister Maude and Maude Clare to help me on this topic because of the central relationship which each three have in common, the female/female relationship. But besides the female/female relationship we are also given an arch, the male, a desirable commodity in the age where marriage is mandatory, specially to the higher class ladies. The focus of this essay are about women in Victorian times. Those three poems mentioned above may not be prime examples, because of their bitter and dramatised contents, but they do give an inclination of these qualities. To start off, from additional background information it is clear that Victorian women are judged according to a blueprint. Every woman in this society have to abide to this unspoken laws, even lady-birds and mistresses. These unlawful laws set up by the then reining Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria who had ascended to a throne left by King William IV, whose expliots and, come to think of it, her uncles' in the sexual arena of the Ton, had caused enumerable scandals, debt and even illegitimate children. ...read more.

Middle

The females in these three poems; Kate and the mistress; Maude Clare and Nell; Maude and the sister have one thing in common between them. The desire of attaining the state of marriage. The desire most women of the age want to achieve. This state of marriage elevates a woman in a position of power as it did Kate in the poem 'Cousin Kate', where she was " lifted [you] from mean estate/ to sit with him on high". Even mousy Nell from 'Maude Clare' was elevated from "Queen"-like Maude Claire even though it seemed like Maude Clare was visibly more superior than Nell. It also seems more proper for Victorian women to be fair, probably because it is 'le mode'. Fair in skin and preferably fair in hair, that means gentlemen 'do' prefer blondes, as Ms Monroe would say. The cousin of Kate in the poem was fair but na�ve, so she caught the eye of the gentleman residing as the lord of the estate. But once he saw Kate, the fairer cousin, he changed allegiance in a hurry. ...read more.

Conclusion

Controlled and quietly accusing. This of course excludes the behind the back scenes namely the curse brought by Maude's sister to her and the smug self-satisfaction of Kate's cousin. Maude Clare and Nell's confrontation was done with dignity and control. No screaming, no thrashing about, no broken glass, just hurt and determination. This maybe because of all the self-control schooling they've had since growing up. Rivalry is also evident in all the poems. Probably because of the great desire for marriage. Rivalry between females are not uncommon but in this era, one has to subtle to be effective. And one has to know what she is doing, like Kate does. I think that Rossetti got most of her inspiration from the society outside, namely the colourful Ton, who produced such interesting characters as Beau Brummell, Lady Caroline and Lord Byron, and even Disraeli himself had a very colourful romantic life. Her poems have an echo to it that suggests it may have happened in real life, or is even happening to this age. But women indicated by Rossetti from this era have the sense of hidden passion, like Kate's cousin and Maude's sister, and strenght like most women of today has. ...read more.

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