Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Seduction and Lust in Christina RossettiÃ¢â¬â¢s Goblin Market Essay
Seduction and Lust in Christina RossettiÃ¢â¬â¢s Goblin Market A seemingly innocent poem about two sistersÃ¢â¬â¢ encounters with goblin men, Christina RossettiÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"Goblin MarketÃ¢â¬ is a tale of seduction and lust. Behind the lattice of the classic mortal entrapment and escapement from fairyland, Ã¢â¬Å"Goblin MarketÃ¢â¬ explores LauraÃ¢â¬â¢s desire for heterosexual knowledge, the goblin menÃ¢â¬â¢s desire for mortal flesh, and Laura and LizzieÃ¢â¬â¢s desire for homosexual eroticism. Goblin men fascinate the sisters Laura and Lizzie, innocent virgins who were taught not to Ã¢â¬Å"peep at goblin menÃ¢â¬ (Rossetti, l. 49). Predominantly iambic tetrametric, Ã¢â¬Å"Goblin MarketÃ¢â¬ follows a convoluted rhyming scheme and includes many enjambments, repetitions, and dialogues. This experimental form readily lends itself to natural storytelling and mirrors the experimentation of Laura and Lizzie. Laura, more curious than her sister, Ã¢â¬Å"[chooses] to linger/Wondering at each merchant manÃ¢â¬ (ll. 69-70). This curiosity and longing is expressed through RossettiÃ¢â¬â¢s use of diction and rhyme in describing the girlsÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Å"clasping arms and cautioning lips,/With tingling cheeks and finger tipsÃ¢â¬ (ll. 38-39; italics mine). Laura is tempted to taste the luscious grapes the goblins peddle, though she acknowledges that the fruitsÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Å"hungry thirsty rootsÃ¢â¬ grow on alien soils (l. 45). LauraÃ¢â¬â¢s repetition of Ã¢â¬Å"Look, Lizzie, look, LizzieÃ¢â¬ betrays her restless longings. The consecutive commencements with the word Ã¢â¬Å"oneÃ¢â¬ and the assonance on the vowel Ã¢â¬Å"OÃ¢â¬ in the lines describing the goblins set the tone of urgency: Ã¢â¬Å"One hauls a basket,/One bears a plate,/One lugs a golden dish/Of many pounds weightÃ¢â¬ (ll. 54-59). This technique, like a refrain, punctuates the entire poem and Laura, wi... ...nd Ã¢â¬Å"dew-wet grassÃ¢â¬ (ll. 532-533). As with the girlsÃ¢â¬â¢ experiences with the goblin men, this homoerotic experience is like a dream (l. 537). Laura and Lizzie, by sharing of themselves, discover that Ã¢â¬Å"there is no friend like a sisterÃ¢â¬ (l. 562). Their love, redeeming and life giving, surpasses the seductive yet bitter fruits of the goblin men. Christina RossettiÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"Goblin MarketÃ¢â¬ , though punctuated with an air of innocence, is imbued with provocative imageries and rhymes. It encapsulates LauraÃ¢â¬â¢s desperate yearnings for the goblinsÃ¢â¬â¢ fruits, the goblinsÃ¢â¬â¢ lascivious desire to entrap chaste mortals, and Laura and LizzieÃ¢â¬â¢s feverish love that is neither vulgar nor ephemeral. Works Cited Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market. Illustrated by Laurence Housman. 1893. New York: Dover, 1983. Work Consulted Bellas, Ralph A. Christina Rossetti. Boston: Twayne, 1977.