Christina Rossetti: Poems

From Objectified to Deified: An Exploration of Self in "Goblin Market"

A torrid lesbian love affair. An acerbic commentary on the commercialization of sex. A dire struggle between physical temptation and spiritual good. A child's nursery rhyme. "Goblin Market" encompasses a wealth of interpretations, some of which smoothly blending together, others remaining diametrically opposed. It symbolizes its creator's complex nature. With each reading, it challenges readers to analyze, debate, and actively engage with it anew. In light of several of her other poems as well as her biography, yet another voice emerges to guide the interpretation of this intricate work. Christina Rossetti's narrative poem "Goblin Market" asserts itself as an early feminist text in its condemnation of the Victorian women's roles and its empowerment of a female heroine. Rossetti denounces her female contemporaries for their characteristic vulnerability and submission to men's wills through her depiction of Laura's temptation and downfall. Rather than merely condemn the status quo, she provides her audience with a credible and inspirational heroine in Lizzie. However, the truly revolutionary and feminist quality of this poem lies in Rossetti's assertion of Lizzie as a female Christ...

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