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Sister Maude and Brothers – Familial Relationships Paper

Discuss How Sibling Relationships Are Presented In ‘Sister Maude’ and ‘Brothers’.

Both of the poems ‘Sister Maude’ and ‘Brothers’ explore the differing attitudes toward sibling relationships, however, while in ‘Brothers’ the poet presents feelings of remorse and regret at the fragmentation of the relationship, the poet of ‘Sister Maude’ on the other hand doesn’t display any love for her sister, but hatred and contempt.

The poet, Rossetti, composed ‘Sister Maude’ into four quatrains, along with an irregular rhyme scheme of ‘ABCB’ to present the disharmony and emotional estrangement between the two sisters, although the ‘B/B’ highlights the empathetic anger and unyielding anger of the sister and her inability to forgive or forget her betrayal; and a sextet, creating a bitter change in tone and an outpouring of unrestrained anger in the traditional rhyme scheme ‘ABCBDB’. The poem is written in ballad form, conveying how the speaker is telling a story of a betrayal, while illustrating themes of sibling disloyalty, sin, punishment and redemption as each stanza depicts a different idea.

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In contrast, ‘Brothers’ is written in three stanzas; a quintain, a sextet and a quatrain, in which depict the differing stages of the breakdown of a fraternal sibling bond. There is no regular rhyme scheme or meter, and so the poem is written in free verse, allowing the narrative poem to present the changes in a sibling relationship and the unplanned nature of childhood. Additionally, the use of enjambment is apparent in both poems. In ‘Sister Maude’ enjambment is found in ‘but sister Maude shall get no sleep either early or late’ to present the speaker’s resentment towards her sister and suggests a surge of hatred, conversely ‘Brothers’ utilises enjambment is to highlight the inevitability of the brother’s emotional separation, ‘I looked at Paul his smile, like mine, said I was nine and he wa…

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