A seemingly innocent poem about two sisters’ encounters with goblin men, Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” is a tale of seduction and lust. Behind the lattice of the classic mortal entrapment and escapement from fairyland, “Goblin Market” explores Laura’s desire for heterosexual knowledge, the goblin men’s desire for mortal flesh, and Laura and Lizzie’s desire for homosexual eroticism.
Goblin men fascinate the sisters Laura and Lizzie, innocent virgins who were taught not to “peep at goblin men” (Rossetti, l. 49). Predominantly iambic tetrametric, “Goblin Market” follows a convoluted rhyming scheme and includes many enjambments, repetitions, and dialogues. This experimental form readily lends itself to natural storytelling and mirrors the experimentation of Laura and Lizzie. Laura, more curious than her sister, “[chooses] to linger/Wondering at each merchant man” (ll. 69-70). This curiosity and longing is expressed through Rossetti’s use of diction and rhyme in describing the girls’ “clasping arms and cautioning lips,/With tingling cheeks and finger tips” (ll. 38-39; italics mine). Laura is tempted to taste the luscious grapes the goblins peddle, though she acknowledges that the fruits’ “hungry thirsty roots” grow on alien soils (l. 45).
Laura’s repetition of “Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie” betrays her restless longings. The consecutive commencements with the word “one” and the assonance on the vowel “O” in the lines describing the goblins set the tone of urgency: “One hauls a basket,/One bears a plate,/One lugs a golden dish/Of many pounds weight” (ll. 54-59). This technique, like a refrain, punctuates the entire poem and Laura, wi...
... middle of paper ...
...nd “dew-wet grass” (ll. 532-533). As with the girls’ experiences with the goblin men, this homoerotic experience is like a dream (l. 537). Laura and Lizzie, by sharing of themselves, discover that “there is no friend like a sister” (l. 562). Their love, redeeming and life giving, surpasses the seductive yet bitter fruits of the goblin men.
Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”, though punctuated with an air of innocence, is imbued with provocative imageries and rhymes. It encapsulates Laura’s desperate yearnings for the goblins’ fruits, the goblins’ lascivious desire to entrap chaste mortals, and Laura and Lizzie’s feverish love that is neither vulgar nor ephemeral.
Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. 1893. New York: Dover, 1983.
Bellas, Ralph A. Christina Rossetti. Boston: Twayne, 1977.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, was written in the Victorian era during a time of vast social change across Europe. Though the Victorian period was a time of female suppression and order, Rossetti exposed many social stigmas and ideologies through the journey of the two sisters Laura and Lizzie. Despite initial impressions of a childhood fairytale, the suggestive and multi-dimensional use of language signifies an underlying message of an erotic sexual commentary. Furthermore, the inconsistent rhyme scheme and meter could also represent the myriad of interpretations.... [tags: Poetry]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, was written in the Victorian era during a time of vast social change across Europe. Though the Victorian period was a time of female suppression and order, Rossetti exposed social stigmas and ideologies that are displayed through the journey of two sisters, Laura and Lizzie. Despite initial impressions of a childhood fairytale, the suggestive and multi-interpretive use of language signifies an underlying message of erotic sexual commentary and feminist views.... [tags: Poetry]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- Two of Christina Rossetti's narrative poems, Goblin Market and The Prince's Progress, feature themes of women in love who appear betrayed — at a number of levels and with varying effects — by false ideals, false lovers, or what is in the background of betrayal by false ideals and false lovers: innocence; specifically, innocence as a deceptive ignorance to flexibility. The results of shortened expectations and heightened consciousness among Rossetti's victims of love vary greatly. Some become malicious.... [tags: Literature]
2031 words (5.8 pages)
- Themes Presented in Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti Christina Rossetti's used her poetry to express herself; her work exhibits many autobiographical elements and from it the reader can discern Rossetti's emotions, beliefs and her comments on the society she lived in. As a female poet it would have been improper for Rossetti to deal directly with these issues though and so her ideas are masked through appearing to be children's poetry and having simple meanings. 'Goblin Market' superficially appears to a moral story about two sisters one of whom gives way to the temptation of the goblins forbidden fruits but through her poetic techniques Rossetti manages to embody her fears and desires.... [tags: Goblin Market Christina Rossetti Essays]
1177 words (3.4 pages)
- Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market One of the strongest emotions inherent in us as humans is desire. The majority of the time, we are unable to control what we crave; however, with practice, we learn not all things we want are necessary. As a result of this mature understanding, we are able to ease our feelings and sometimes even suppress our desires. Something even more mature is understanding that when we give in to our desires, we become vulnerable. In a harsh, brutal world, vulnerability will not work to our advantage.... [tags: Christina Rossetti Goblin market Essays]
1672 words (4.8 pages)
- There are several meanings and interpretations of Christina Rossetti’s, “Goblin Market”. “Goblin Market” is the story of two sisters, which one of them, Laura, is tempted to visit the new goblin market in town. Laura buys the fruit from the goblin men in exchange for a lock of her hair, despite the several warnings from her sister Lizzie not to consume the fruit. Laura gets sick and Lizzie saves her by going to the market. After the goblins taunt, tease and torment her with the tempting fruit, the fruit’s juices smudged in her face, she runs back home letting her sister kiss and suck them from her cheeks.... [tags: Goblin Market Essays]
874 words (2.5 pages)
- Compare and contrast Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti with The Seduction by Eileen McAuley Comparison of Cousin Kate by Christina Rossetti and The Seduction by Eileen McAuley For this essay I have been asked to compare two poems. One from the era of pre twentieth century and one from the twentieth century. The poem from pre twentieth century I am writing about is ‘Cousin Kate’ by Christina Rossetti. The poem from the twentieth century will be ‘The Seduction’ by Eileen McAuley. These two poems have many similarities, but they also have many differences.... [tags: Cousin Kate The Seduction Poems Poetry Essays]
798 words (2.3 pages)
- Christina Rossetti was born in London on December 5, 1930. She is regarded by many as “one of the most important women poets in writing” in England during the nineteenth-century (Everett). Rossetti’s best known for writing a collection of pieces known as Goblin Market and Other Poems that was published in 1862 (Christina Rossetti). Many have argued that her most notable poem of the collection, “Goblin Market,” has a strong biblical undertone. By analyzing the characters and symbolisms of “Goblin market” against their biblical counterparts, we will attempt to find the stories true message.... [tags: jesus christ, bible, god]
879 words (2.5 pages)
- Technologies of Seduction “There can be no question of escaping the twisted logic of theoretical writing; there are only different ways of coming to terms with it.” (Shaviro 11) Blind Beast (Masumura Yasuzo 1969), Ghost in the Shell (Ohii Mamoru 1995), and Spirited Away (Miyazaki Hayao 2001) sustain the relation between the ‘body’ and ‘technology’: its terrific horror is its seduction. Captured bodies cut, cybernetic bodies hacked, and fattened bodies served. These three films all capture the viewer and take us to another place, and even in the seduction of representation understood as events (the theory-fiction of film analyses), such films can be understood as narratives, images, and sou... [tags: Seduction Cinematic Body Film Essays]
3745 words (10.7 pages)
- Comparing Cousin Kate and The Seduction In this coursework I will be comparing the two poems ‘Cousin Kate’ by Christina Rossetti and ‘The Seduction’ by Eileen McAuley. The two poems have many similarities but there are also some differences between them. To begin I will give an introduction to both the poems. Cousin Kate is about a cottage maiden that is tricked into having an affair with a rich Lord. She is then betrayed by the Lord who decides to dump her. He then marries her Cousin Kate who is much more beautiful than her and who has not yet lost her virginity.... [tags: Christina Rossetti Eileen McAuley Poems Essays]
1385 words (4 pages)
- Power Play in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame
- The Journey of Self-discovery Brian Moore's The Luck of Ginger Coffey
- Comparing George Eliot’s Adam Bede and Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market
- Prospero's Redemption in The Tempest
- The Dysfunctional Family in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
- Impact of Chinese Heritage on Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior