La Belle Dame sans Merci

The Dominant Woman College

Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” and John Keats’ “La Belle Dame sans Merci” explore the power of women. “Goblin Market” preaches that women have the power to renew the lives of other women. Keats explores the way a woman’s seduction can overpower a man through the use of a femme-fatale. The femme-fatale in “La Belle Dame sans Merci” and power of the sisters in “Goblin Market” show that fallen women have an extreme influence in society due to the power women possess over life.

The opening lines of “Goblin Market” express women’s capacity to experience more than men, as only “maids heard the goblins cry” (2). Women's experience makes their lives more difficult than those of men. They must avoid the temptation of the goblins and fear for their chastity. When “Curious Laura chose to linger / Wondering at each merchant man” (69-70), she succumbs to the temptation of the goblins and their fruit. The goblins further her temptation because they “sounded kind and full of loves” (79). The goblins have the power to seem docile, despite their wicked nature.

As Laura succumbs to temptation, she makes the transformation to becoming a fallen woman. When she returns home, “Lizzie met her at the gate / Full of wise upbraidings” (141-42)....

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