A Comparison between Cousin Kate and The Seduction

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Shyama Sodha 10SG                                                17th June 2009

A Comparison between ‘Cousin Kate’ and ‘The Seduction’

‘Cousin Kate’ was written by Christina Rossetti in the nineteenth century, and ‘The Seduction’ by Eileen McCauley in the twentieth century. The two poems are both based on the narrator’s ideas of love. In this essay I will be comparing the two poems.

‘Cousin Kate’ was written a while ago, so includes traditional and slightly older ways of life. It is about a lower class woman, referred to as the cottage maiden, who was wooed by a Lord. He uses her and obviously doesn’t see her as more than a mistress, whereas the cottage maiden has fallen in love with him. When the Lord sees her cousin Kate who is prettier, he immediately pushes the cottage maiden aside to be with her. This results in the marriage of the Lord and her Cousin Kate, and the cottage maiden being left alone with her reputation ruined.

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‘Cousin Kate’ has tied in the themes of betrayal, jealousy, class and love all together. ‘If you stood where I stand He’d not have won me with his love’. This shows that she felt betrayed by her cousin as she did not take her feelings into consideration when marrying the Lord. The jealousy is shown when she says, ‘The neighbours call you good and pure, Call me an outcast thing.’ This almost sounds as if she is saying it in a mocking tone, as people do when they are jealous. Also, the fact that they are referred to as ...

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