Essay on Christina Rossetti’s "Goblin Market"

1087 Words 5 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. In addition, Rossetti conveys moral lessons by illustrating consequences of the goblin’s seduction. Through the sister’s experience with the goblins, the power of sisterhood becomes undeniable. Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market serves as a …show more content…
Ironically, Rossetti’s portrayal of seduction is in stark contrast to accepted notions of the Victorian period in that the male characters signify dangerous temptation, not the troubled females. The goblin men confirm this contradiction by representing the venomous effects that experienced seductive men have on innocent naive women. Rossetti’s ironic gender split exemplifies her progressive attitude of feminist thought while also serving as a depiction on the principles of Victorian society. In addition, the feminist view of sexuality is evident throughout Rossetti’s poem. Laura and Lizzie’s magical experience portrays the pursuit for sensual awareness while struggling between physical identity and spiritual salvation. Furthermore, “She clipped a precious golden lock, she dropped a tear more rare than pearl, then sucked their fruit globes fair or red, sweeter than honey from the rock” (ll. 126-29) and “sucked until her lips were sore” (l. 136). With blatant sexual undertones, this pivotal moment signifies the character’s transition from maiden to woman or innocence to experience. Additionally, this exchange could be a metaphor for Laura’s relinquishment of her sacred virginity. As Laura falls sicker and slowly begins to deteriorate, Rossetti illustrates the consequences of succumbing to the temptation of men’s deceit and the importance of remaining pure. With use of vivid imagery, Rossetti further emphasizes the animalistic and uncanny
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