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Essay on Religious Themes of Goblin Market and The Eve of St. Agnes

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One of the most alluded works in the history of literature would definitely be the Bible. The Bible has given insight to most of the great authors through out time as either inspiration or a source of parody. The number of Biblical quotes and related symbols could be almost endless to list. Parodies and symbolic reference to the Bible in literary works, serve as an expression of the author's and time's religious view points.

The Romantic view of religion was more concerned with human religious experience than with divinely revealed truths. Religion for the Romantics created the want to escape the physical world and its perceived limitations. These writers believed in religion to a great extent, but thought the religious
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Rossetti spent most of her life by strict religious principles. She gave up two engagement commitments due to religious factors. Rossetti's religious compassion in her work was no secret. A well known Rossetti critic, Jerome McGann, says, "nearly all her poems contain important allusions to and quotations from The Book of Common Prayers and the Bible." (McGann 211).

Keats, however, chose to use religious topics to inspire his works in other ways. Robert Ryan says, "Keats decisively repudiated the Christianity of their time as incorrigibly dishonest and pernicious." (Ryan 5). Ryan's statement along with the symbolism in The Eve of St. Agnes makes me believe Keats to have preferred the old religion over the new.

One religious interpretation of The Eve of St. Agnes was brought about by Jack Stillinger in his book The Hoodwinking of Madeline. Stillinger relates Madeline's dream on the Eve of St. Agnes to that of Adam's while he is dreaming of the creation of Eve. Madeline was dreaming of her future husband, and when she awoke she found Porphyro in her bed. This thought of imagination turning to truth is the same case of when Adam awakes from his dream, and he finds his dream has come true. The difference between the two dreams lies in the fact Adam is happy when he awakes and sees Eve, but Madeline does not feel as pleased. She seems scared of what she awakens to by saying, "No dream, alas! Alas! And woe is mine!" (Norton
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