Cousin Kate, Sonnet 116 and Sonnet 130.

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In "Cousin Kate", Rossetti gives messages about an abuse of power. The "Lord" "lured" the narrator to his "palace home". The word "lured" is very ominous and enforces the idea that he is a figure with authority. He manages to seduce the narrator with his flattery, and then enthrals her like a predator with his prey. The Lord has a high social standing which explains how he "wore" the "cottage maiden" like a "silken knot". The narrator felt inferior to the Lord, therefore she allows him to abuse her trust and let's him degrade her until she feels as unworthy as a "glove". This highlights the way that he degrades her and shows how he doesn't appreciate the value of her love. After the "Lord" abandoned her, the "cottage maiden" was left an "unclean thing". The word "unclean" shows how dirty and tainted she felt despite the fact that she wasn't in the wrong. Rossetti implies that it wasn't just their actions that made the narrator feel soiled, it was also the way the "Lord" left her. He exploited her for sex, and then discarded her - similar to a prostitute. The narrator claims that she "might have been a dove". The word "dove" is used to symbolise the freedom that she had before the "Lord" burdened her. The "dove" is also used to represent the purity she had before her interactions with the "Lord". Rossetti might be implying that the narrator has been left with a lasting mark of some sort that distinguishes her from her fellow citizens. This mark could be her son of whom shares the "Lord's" DNA and is a reminder of their brief love. Rossetti could also be highlighting how serious these kind of occurrences would be taken in Victorian England. Men were born with a natural advantage that enables them to commit adultery purely due to their gender. The "Lord's" superior status meant that he had power over people and could "choose" the lady he wanted to "sit with him on high". As a result of his superiority, he can abuse his power and reputation like he did with the...
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