'A Married State' is set in a negative tone; the reader is drawn into the intense atmosphere on lines 1-2, 'A married state affords but little ease: The best of husbands are so hard to please.' It describes the hard life of a strained married hood 'little ease' elaborates more on the husband's and wife's relationship showing the very little freedom in their relationship, for the wife to break through into pleasure would be a struggle even with 'the best of husbands'. 'A Married State' is written in 3rd person, throughout the poem there are 7-9 syllables per line creating an consistent rhythm making the atmosphere quite dismal towards the reader. The poem is written in only 1 stanza to become straight to complex with the middle class housewives, especially in lines 7-9, 'No blustering husbands to create your fears, No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears, No children's cries for to offend your ears,' the author uses repetition to create listed reasons of a sorrow life, developing a persuasive response directly at the reader by also using personal pronouns such as 'you'. Philips exemplifies a truthful warning from an idealistic view of a wives life, that marriage it will always end up disastrous in love and motherhood, creating a completely opposite tone towards Cousin kate:
Language and tone
An implied audience
The speaker addresses her questions, laments and moans to Kate. She begins the third verse, ‘O Lady Kate, my cousin Kate’ and the fifth, ‘O cousin Kate’. Throughout, she employs a tone of accusation, repeatedly using the word ‘you’ as she compares Kate to herself. In the last four lines, the speaker draws her attention away from her bitterness at Kate and addresses her son. She calls him ‘my shame, my pride’ (line 45).
Anger and anxiety
The speaker’s questions in the first stanza express her anger and confusion at the experiences she has had to endure:
Why did a great lord find me out,
And praise my flaxen hair?