Lizzie (Christ) the redeemer?

To better understand Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” we must determine her intentions while writing the poem. It turns out that is impossible as is with most poetry, but it is obvious there are main themes that can be interpreted from her work. The theme I intend to focus on is the Biblical allegory. We see through the first few stanza’s the Goblins tempting the innocent girls with the fruit the girls know they should not eat. ‘’We must not look at Goblin men, we must not buy their fruits.” Obviously this is an allegory for Satan’s tempting of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The description of the goblin men describe them as disgusting and fowl creatures as well, yet their call and their fruit seems so enticing.”One had a cats face, one whisked a tail, one tramped at rats pace, one crawled like a snail.” Rossetti later mentions “she heard a voice like the voice of doves they sounded kind and full of loves.” Laura knows that this fruit and these men are not to be messed with, but the temptations and their cooing of her mask their true identities a disgusting creatures. This is similar to how Satan entices Eve in the Garden in an almost seductive way, while she cannot see that he is true evil. Laura soon falls into her earthly desires and gets the fruit, however it costs her everything. Much like being cast out of the Garden, Laura can no longer work and no longer has the desire to live.

This is where the allegory takes another step forward with Lizzie stepping in as the Christ figure. She is described as being as pure as a “lily in a flood” like Christ was when he came to atone for our sins. Lizzie goes to the market with intentions to help and receives a temptation of the fruits much like Christ did when he wandered the desert. Lizzie refuses the temptation and takes a beating from the goblin men. Additionally, the goblin men squeeze the juice all over her body. Laura drinking the juice off if Lizzie’s body and being healed is symbolic of the taking of communion in the Christian religion. Lizzie paid the price for Laura’s selfish sins, so in return Laura can have a second chance. Although we can never know Rossetti’s true mind set while writing this poem, we cannot ignore the blatant Christ allegory portrayed in her poem.

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