Diction And Figurative Language In Cousin Kate

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In Christina Rossetti's poem, “Cousin Kate,” diction and figurative language helps emphasize the powerlessness of women in Victorian society through showcasing how a young cottage maiden lets her own needs go, to please her lord. This poem is organized into six stanzas which are all octaves. The first stanza begins with the narrator telling a story about a young maiden who spent her days in the “sun and air.” She had no desire for a man or for anything she did not have already. She claims to be unaware of her beauty, until the great lord finds her. The second stanza begins with the speaker using the word “lured” to further accentuates that the lord did not have pure intentions in his praise of her. The next few stanzas shift from the speaker talking to the readers, but to her cousin, Kate. …show more content…

The speaker refers to Kate as the better option because she is “good and pure.” The figurative language used adds a deeper meaning to this poem. For example, in stanza two the speaker says, “To lead a shameless shameful life,/His plaything and his love./He wore me like a silken knot,/ He changed me like a glove;/So now I moan, an unclean thing,/ Who might have been a dove”(Rossetti 11-16). “To lead a shameless shameful life,” is an example of sibilance and an oxymoron. “He wore me like a silken knot,/ He changed me like a glove,” are both similes, implying that the speaker is a disposable possession. ”Who might have been a dove,” is an example of a metaphor. In stanza three, “cousin Kate” (Rossetti 17), is an example of plosive. Diction is also important in understanding the purpose of this poem. Some words used in the poem are praise, lord, lured, shameful, plaything, moan, unclean, and outcast, which all have a negative sense to

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