Theme Of Maude Clare

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Rossetti explores the concept of desiring something you cannot have frequently throughout her poetry. Whether the person has forbidden themselves from wanting something or there are other reasons why they cannot have something, there is always the element of something being sweeter once you physically cannot have it. I will be exploring this idea in three of Rossetti’s poems all of which have hints of forbidden tastes being the sweetest; Maude Clare, Soeur Louise and Goblin Market. Rossetti’s poem Maude Clare is, on the surface, a narrative ballad following a seemingly strong-minded woman. The poem implies that Maude had a sexual relationship out of wedlock with a man called Thomas which wouldn’t have been considered acceptable at the time of writing and publication. Thomas then proceeds to leave Maude for another woman by the name of Nell who is described as a ‘village maid’ which suggests that, unlike Maude, she was a virgin. Although the main themes of Maude Clare are that of the patriarchy and strong women, there is underlying elements of things being forbidden. The relationship that Maude and Thomas shared would’ve been considered, at the time, to be forbidden due to societal expectations in Victorian England. It was expected for women to remain chaste until marriage and those who did not comply with this expectation was dubbed a ‘fallen woman’, disregarded by society and deemed unsuitable for marriage. That is what makes the interpreted relationship that Maude and
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