Cousin Kate - review

Authors Avatar

Cousin Kate

The poem cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti is about a young girl who falls in love with a great lord (a rich and powerful man), but then he leaves her for her cousin. Eventually she finds out that she is pregnant (cousin Kate) but had to deal with the consequences all by herself. As the great lord does not want to be involved in a baby when not married (this was highly disrespected at this time).It is set sometimes during the 1800’s and a young cottage maiden was living a happy life with her friends, but she was taken away by a powerful man. I get the picture that she was happy without him as she says “contented with my cottage mates”. I like this as it hints an idea that something may go wrong.

Cousin Kate is the cousin she has, who gets chosen over her. She is reluctant to think about not going off with the lord, even though that her cousin is pregnant by him.

The girl who is the victim of this poem, seems to think she cares more about the lord. She thinks she loves him, where as “cousin Kate” is with him for just the money.

“Your love was writ in sand” I favor this metaphor as it’s saying in a way that “cousin Kate’s” love can easily be washed away.

The victim of this poem as it were seems to have been a innocent and pretty girl, as she says he “lured” her “to his palace home”. Almost like a stranger “luring a child into a car” This is why I despise of this line.

“Woe’s me for joy there of” this means that she’s unhappy/depressed at the way things have turned out between them both, at this stage I feel sorry for her, She’s yound, pregnant, and heartbroken.

“Shameless, shameful life” This one reminds me of a mirror when reading it, but although the image looks the same. It means so much different. I ponder if this means that when she was with him, she didn’t care what people thought…but now the fun is over, and the consequences are being paid. She is ashamed of what she has done and what she if left with.

“Play thing” she describes herself as a toy, something that he used to play with for when he was bored. She feels used, and like a….”play thing” basically...and just like a toy, which gets old. She feels replaced by a newer model.

Join now!

“Changed like a glove”, again she’s saying he used her. Just like a glove, which eventually got dirty or out of fashion…he trades her in for something fresh, something he still respects.

She feels like a “unclean thing” as she had sex with him before they wed, in which those days was disgraceful.

Plus where she could have kept pure, like a virgin or a “dove” (symbol of purity) she has now lost that, maybe she feels it’s her fault. She sees herself as a disrespected member of public. People in those days would of crossed the road if ...

This is a preview of the whole essay