Christina Rossetti: Poems

Erotic Undertones in "Goblin Market" College

Christina Rossetti grew up among a family of skilled writers and artists whose muses had to do with contemporary life and past scholarship, yet they were strictly evangelical Christians. Christina Rossetti strictly followed the expectations of this ideal (Everett). There has been much conjecture that she lived a self-repressed life in which she revealed her passions for certain men through her poetic works since they did not share similar religious values, and she lived vicariously through her less repressed brother and his friends (Gilbert & Gubar 874). The implications of these incompatible and contrasting dynamics can be read through her poetry, particularly "Goblin Market," published in 1862 (RPO). "Goblin Market" uses imagery, symbolism and erotic characterization of the sisters Laura and Lizzie to symbolically discuss the way that women's relationships with men undermine women's value and worth, and that women can only realize their full potential through relationships with other women. Although these relationships are not limited to sexual or romantic ones, the relationship between the sisters is eroticized in order to starkly emphasize the way in which women can bring beauty and greatness...

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