“Remember” by Christina Rossetti
“Remember” by Christina Rossetti

“Remember” by Christina Rossetti

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  • Pages: 4 (1754 words)
  • Published: October 26, 2017
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The sonnet “Remember” by Christina Rossetti was written in 1849 when Rossetti was just 19 years old, in this sonnet the themes of love, loss, and reaction to death are portrayed. Christina Rossetti was born in London in 1830 and died in 1894 a well-known poet. The sonnet, “Remember”, is written to a lover and is about their love, her death, and how she wants him to react to her death.

The poem starts of with lines one to three deals with the element of death, Rossetti uses a metaphor in line one when she states,

“Remember me when I am gone away”,

The metaphor being gone away instead of the word dead gives us the idea that she is she does not want her lover to think of her as being dead but gone away, this idea is also illustrated with the use of another metaphor,

“Gone far away into the silent land”,

Here there is a usage of the term the silent land instead of eternal life illustrating that she is going far away.

With the usage of a metaphor on line eleven Rossetti tells her lover that he should not be saddened by her death, she states,

“And afterwards remember, do not grieve;

For if the darkness and corruption leave”

Rossetti uses darkness and corruption as a metaphor for anger at her death and she believes that her lover should not be angered and he should carry on his life in an ordinarily manner.

As the poem goes on it portrays the idea that Rossetti wrote this so


nnet to teach all who read it that death is inevitable, but it should not consume the lives of those who are left living, this is shown when she states,

“Better by far you should forget and smile

That you should remember and be sad”

This shows that she wrote this sonnet to her lover that and she believed he should not be upset if, after she died, he forgot about her because she would rather know that he is happy than that he is, in a sense, dead while alive.

In the poem ‘A Woman to her Lover’ the woman is telling her lover whom has just proposed to her what she will and will not be. In lines 3-7 the woman says to her lover

“To make of me a bond slave

To bear you children, wearing out my life

In drudgery and silence

No servant will I be

If that be what you ask. O lover I refuse you!”

The woman is saying to her lover that she will not be a slave to him and give him children and if that is what he is asking then she is refuse him. The impression that the author is giving is that this woman has got more control over her lover because of the strong language she uses like “if that be what you ask. O lover I refuse you.” This clearly shows that women were not going to tolerate just being slaves for their husbands.

There is a continuous of the woman telling her lover what she will and won’t be. But then in the last verse there is a dramatic change in the language the woman uses

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She says to her lover

“But lover, if you ask of me

That I shall be your comrade, friend and mate,

To live and work, to love and die with you,

That so together we may know the purity and height

Of passion, and of joy and sorrow,

Then O husband, I am yours forever”

This suggests the woman is now saying to her lover that if he asks her to be her friend and mate and to live and work, to love and die with him then she is his forever. In this verse there is a dramatic change of attitude. First the woman uses very negative language towards her lover then she changes her language very suddenly and her language is very positive. This poem shows how women don’t like to be less potent then the men and how they believe equality is essential.

The poem ‘A Woman to her Lover’ can be compared and contrasted very well with the poem ‘My last Duchess.’ They are very different in their description of marriage towards each other. In the poem ‘My Last Duchess’ the man is saying what he wanted his wife to be like and in ‘A Woman to her Lover’ the woman is saying what she wants her future husband to be like.

In the poem ‘My Last Duchess’ he is talking about what his wife was like. To show this its states,

“Her mantle laps

Over my lady’s wrist too much,’

This suggests the Duke is saying that his wife was very popular and she was liked by a lot of people.

It is also stated that his power and status were very important to him and his self respect. Also that he believed she didn’t appreciate being the Duke’s wife. He didn’t like the attention his wife gave other people because he felt that he should be the only one getting the attention. The impression that is given by the author is that he wanted his wife to be a slave to him and obey everything he said whereas in the poem ‘A Woman to her Lover’ the woman exclaims to her lover that she won’t be his slave and obey everything he says. He then says,

“Just this

Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,

Or there exceed the mark”

Here the man is not able to tell his wife that he didn’t like what she was doing because he thought it as being depleted. He made her life very miserable that she committed suicide. He then arranged her death, and then arranged his own marriage to the count’s daughter. At the end of the poem he is in control and he decides who can see his wife and who can’t. This poem shows what lengths and steep to such lows that a man can go to be the dominant figure of a relationship and compromises with the poem “A Woman And Her Lover” in many ways, This is because they both are telling us how they want their lovers to be.

The poems ‘A Birthday and ‘First Love’ can also be compared and contrasted with each other. This is because they are contradictive too like the other two poems.

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