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Karen Griffiths

on 25 September 2016

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Transcript of MAUDE CLARE

Often considered a 'companion piece' to Cousin Kate - did you study this at GCSE?

The poem tells the story again of a wealthy lord spurning his first love in favour of a more suitable choice.

The poems both discuss the unhappy resolutions of mixing love and classes.
Maude Clare - form and structure
Another fairy tale?
We're used to traditional tales.

The original manuscript of this poem was 41 stanzas! Reduced to 12 by the time it was published alongside Goblin Market. The original poem allowed far more empathy for Maude Clare.

What do you imagine an additional 30 verses might offer us in terms of plot? What questions occur to you as you read this poem?

Who is the victim in the poem?
Is everyone? What might Rossetti be suggesting?

How can we link this to Rossetti herself?

She turned down several suitors - she must have had some kind of fall out from that kind of a decision!

Is she advocating then a return of true love as the only real basis for marriage?
Strictly, a ballad is a form of poetry that alternates lines of four and three beats, often in quatrains, rhymed abab, and often telling a story.

Does the poem fit absolutely into this definition?
What kind of writing do we most commonly associate with lots of dialogue?

This poem enables us to watch a scene unfold.

A useful poem for characterisation! Less about the environment which is perhaps surprising...
Let's take the poem a stanza at a time.
Consider the presentation of Maude Clare and Nell in the first stanza.
Which words seem crucial to you?
1. Is this a poem about Maude Clare?
2. What's the story behind their 'break up'?
3. Who is the narrator?
4. Who is the real victim of this story?
What tone is established?
Think about the context of this poem.

Is living 'true' a reference to love or fidelity do you think?

What does this poem have to say about marriage would you say?
Your father thirty years ago
Had just your tale to tell...
Is this supposed to be a reassurance?

What do you make of the references to pallor?

Is there an ominous tone set about this marriage?
The possessive first person pronoun is interesting in this stanza - who is the narrator do you think?
Look again at the use of PALE in this stanza - who do we pity?
Consider the confidence with which Maude Clare addresses Thomas.

She refers to him as 'My Lord' - what is the meaning of this would you say?
Maude Clare offers items and memories for return, in doing so she tries to exclude Nell.
She returns HALVES - suggesting of course that Thomas has kept the other half of each - further evidence of his reluctance in marrying Nell.
Consider the use of TIME when she tells us that the lilies they waded in are budding now!
Maude Clare is clearly angry and hurt - how could you evidence this?
What can we take from her return of the gold chain? Is this Maude Clare's way of dismissing Thomas's wealth?
Lord Thomas
Do you feel sorry for him?
Look at how he described in the poem:
pale, inward strife, faltering
Why does he call Maude Clare Lady? Is she already his wife in other ways???
Why does he hide his face?
Maude Clare's gift to Nell
Used goods?
Maude Clare is quite defiant here - do we pity her?
Consider Nell's response...
What does Nell's response tell us about expectations in marriage?
Independent study link:

Consider each assessment objective with regards to the poem.
Full transcript