The Victorian period marked the first traces of progress in the feminist movement, and poet Christina Rossetti embraced the advancement as her own long-established principles slowly became publicly acceptable. Her poem "Goblin Market" comments on the institutions in Victorian society that she and her feminist contemporaries wished to see altered, creating modern female heroines to carry out its messages. The goblins serve as malicious male figures to tempt the innocent heroines, sisters Laura and Lizzie, to corruption.
According to the Victorian definition, a gentleman "never takes unfair advantage . . . or insinuates evil which he dare not say out," and possesses, among other qualities, the ability to avoid all suspicion and resentment (Landow 4). The goblins in Rossetti's poem succeed in contradicting every Victorian definition of a gentleman throughout the poem; the only male figures present, they represent the deleterious nature of men on the lives of women. In "Goblin Market," the mens' only beneficial purpose is "impregnation. Once both sisters have gone to the goblins and acquired the juices of their fruits, they have no further need of them" (Mermin 291).
The poem begins with the goblins calling the sisters' attention to their delicious, exotic fruits, which represent the proverbial forbidden fruit--one taste leads to destruction. But the goblins depict their fruits as enticing. Rossetti uses rich imagery such as "Currants and gooseberries,/ Bright-fire-like barberries,/ Figs to fill your mouth,/ Citrons from the South,/ Sweet to tongue and sound to eye" (1) to stimulate the reader's senses, just as the goblins' calls provoke Laura and Lizzie. The goblins at...
... middle of paper ...
...n 'Goblin Market.'" Victorian Poetry. Vol. 21, No. 2. Summer 1983.
Phillips, W. Glasgow. "Theme in Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market'." The Victorian Web. 1992. URL: http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/victorian/vn/victorov.html.
Plowman, Melanie. "As A Poet Speaking from Within Female Limitations." The VictorianWeb.1990.URL:
Rossetti, Christina. "Goblin Market." Goblin Market and Other Poems. Ed. Candace Ward. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. 1-16.
Weathers, Winston. "Christina Rossetti: The Sisterhood of Self." Victorian Poetry. Vol. 111, No. 2, 1965.
Wohl, Anthony S. "The Supposed Excessive Sexuality of Lower Classes and Tribal Cultures." The Victorian Web. URL: http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/victorian/vn/victorov.html.
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 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)
- Comparing Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market and William Wordsworth’s The Thorn On the surface, the poems “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti and “The Thorn” by William Wordsworth appear to be very different literary works. “Goblin Market” was written by a young woman in the Victorian period about two sisters who develop a special bond through the rescue of one sister by the other. “The Thorn” was written by the Romantic poet William Wordsworth about a middle-aged man and his experience overlooking a woman’s emotional breakdown.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
1707 words (4.9 pages)
- In Paradise Lost, Milton puts forth the idea that an innate difference exists between man and woman, claiming “For contemplation he and valor formed, / For softness she and sweet attractive grace; / He for God only, she for God in him” (Paradise Lost IV.296-298). For centuries, these three lines have been the topic of debate among poets and writers from every literary genre. Some have declared Milton to be an early chauvinist, criticizing him for supporting the notion that women should have no functional purpose within society, while others have maintained that the famous three lines prove him to be an advocate for women’s rights, asserting that Milton was disparaging this kind of attitude t... [tags: Character Analysis ]
2014 words (5.8 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)
- 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 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 Goblin Market instigates significant controversy and dispute in many of its critics and readers, despite its deceptively simple form. As such, many individuals have proposed theories regarding the poem's convoluted meanings and challenging messages. However the presence of the apparent sexual references and innuendoes presented in the poem inspire much of the disagreement surrounding Rossetti’s intentions. Nevertheless, Christina Rossetti's canonical poem continues to fascinate and enchant its readers due to insightful evaluation of Victorian female sexual ideologies and expectations.... [tags: literary analysis, women's role]
2073 words (5.9 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)
- This quote by an unknown author relates to Christina Rossetti’s poem “Twilight Night.” In the poem, the speaker starts off describing meeting her love. The second stanza is where the “set it free” part of the quote comes into play. The rest of the poem is the speaker waiting for her lost love to return, hoping it was meant to be. In Christina Rossetti’s poem “Twilight Night” the poet uses the structure of the poem, diction, and imagery to develop a theme of finding lost love. The way Rossetti structured her poem “Twilight Night” helped to develop the theme of finding lost love.... [tags: Poetry, Stanza, Christina Rossetti, Rhyme]
742 words (2.1 pages)
- Compare and Contrast Remember and A Birthday by Christina Rossetti Christina Rossetti was born in Victorian England and grew up in the pre-Raphaelite era. Coming from a well educated family she drew influence for her poems from her surroundings and experiences. In ‘A Birthday’, she looks at the celebration of finding new love. She is overjoyed because her love is reciprocated and wants to make a new beginning with this man spending the rest of her life with him raising a family. A Birthday is filled with joy, happiness and anticipation of what life will be like with her new love.... [tags: Remember A Birthday Christina Rossetti Essays]
1905 words (5.4 pages)
- Comparing Philosophies in West-Running Brook and Meditation 17
- Honor in Henry IV, Part One
- Laura’s Struggle for Growth in The Garden Party
- A Comparison of Love in Annabel Lee and La Belle Dame sans Merci
- Essay on Falstaff in Henry IV Part I
- Renewal in Yeats' Second Coming and Eliot's Journey of the Magi