Cousin Kate (Christina Rossetti) Stanza Six Analysis
Keywords and Themes: Karma, Irony, Cottage maiden has the last laugh.
Mood: Smug, Triumphant
The structure of 'Cousin Kate' is Dramatic Monologue.
It is written in First Person.
It is a Narrative Poem.
Context is when social standard was extremely important, males were dominant in relationships and sexual intercouse outside of wedlock was frown upon greatly.
Yet I've a gift you have not got,
'Yet' is used as 'although' or 'but'. This means that despite what Kate has done and all the things she has got, the cottage maiden has something she hasn't. The 'gift' is life as the cottage maiden had a son with the Lord and life is often referred to as a gift.
And seem not like to get:
This shows the cottage maiden taunting Kate. This also hints that Kate is infertile and unable to bear a heir for the Lord.
For all your clothes and wedding-ring
This hints that it was for wealth and security is why Kate married the Lord, not out of love.
I have little doubt you fret.
Kate is happy where she is and doesn't seem worried about the fact she doesn't have a son for the Lord.
My fair-haired son, my shame, my pride,
Possessive Pronouns are used and only 'my', not 'our', so this suggests that the father, the Lord, has no knowledge or contact with his son. The son is also blonde, like his mother, hinting that he is as innocent and naive as his mother was in the beguinning. A Paradox is used to describe the son: 'my shame, my pride'.
Cling closer, closer yet
Repetition and Alliteration is used. The cottage maiden is demanding her son to stay with her as if the Lord found out he had a son, he would take him away to raise as is heir and in wealth. It seems the cottage maiden is fearful that her son will wander from her.
Your father would give lands for one
Thisis ironic as the Lord showed no interest in the cottage maiden after marrying Kate but now she has a son, his attention would return to her. The land is mention again, which the Lord was using to lure women and now he would give them away just to have son.
To wear his coronet.
A coronet means his title, land, home, belongings and fortune. This means that the son, once discovered, would inherit everything the Lord owns. Once he does, there would be no need for Kate anymore and it will be the cottage maiden and her son who will gain climb the social ladder to become rich and Kate may even slide down again. This is an example of Karma.
- The son is a constant reminder to the cottage maiden of her affair. He is her shame as he reminds her of how foolish she was but is also her pride as he is her son and they say there is no stronger bond between a mother and her child.
- It is ironic that Kate has everything but the one thing she doens't have, the cottage maiden does have even though she has lost everything else.
- The son seems to be all that the cottage maiden has, leading her to be even more possessive and protective of him.
Possessive Pronouns - To show that something is possessed.
Paradox - A statement that is selfcontradicting but also may be true.
Repetition - When something is repeated.
Alliteration - When all the words in a sentece start with the same letter e.g. Slimy snakes slither slyly.
Karma - If you do a bad deed, you pay for it. 'What goes around comes back around', "An eye for an eye", "Live by the sword, die by the sword" etc. In this case, Kate not bearing a son and pleasing the Lord is karma for putting herself in front of her cousin.