Christina Rossetti: Poems

Loss and Suffering in A Doll's House and Rossetti's Poetry 11th Grade

Rossetti, labelled the “queen of the pre-Raphaelite school”, and Ibsen, a great perpetrator of the Realism movement, were separated by artistic styles in writing, but shared a time period and similar social climates. Therefore, the ways in which they would’ve observed loss and suffering cultivated in a social environment earmarked as an era with evolving views on religion, marriage and women’s rights. However, traditional values still held the forefront of the social sphere.

Despite never living in England or spending much time there, Ibsen—along with many European countries—assimilated values of Victorian culture, particularly its characteristic obsession with death. An obvious example of this is Nora’s suicidal ruminations on the “cold, black water” and an escape from Krogstad’s threat of exposure through suicide. The dark imagery is in keeping with the ending era of Romanticism—an artistic movement at odds with Ibsen’s preference for Realism—which may depict her suicidal thoughts as ill-conceived, a feverish solution conjured by a desperate woman. Nora even appears to acknowledge this, saying that she hasn’t “the courage” to do anything “more desperate.”

This desperation is reflected in Rossetti’s poems, such as From the...

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