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Nearly all of the objects and characters in Christina Rosssetti’s poem “Goblin Market” are symbolic of theories or ideas from the Christian religion. Through careful analysis of the poem, religious symbols become clear and can be seen by any wary reader. In fact, the symbolism in this poem is so abundant that there appears to be two stories within the framework of one poem.
The first story in the poem is one that is read by the words alone. Its subject matter is up front and will be outlined first in the paper. However, the second story is deeper and must be read analytically using the physical objects and characters as symbols for religious imagery and theme.
In the first stanza the reader encounters the goblin’s cry, “Come buy our orchard fruits,/ come buy, come buy…” First of all, the reader must ask: “who are these goblins?”, “what is the cost to buy their fruits?” and “what fruits are they selling?”. Within the next stanza the reader meets Laura and Lizzie, two sisters wandering around in the evening watching goblin men. To be more precise, Laura is watching the goblins and Lizzie is hiding from them. These two young women are the main characters throughout Rossetti’s poem. The goblin men have fruit to sell and Laura is in a buying mood, Lizzie however gets scared and runs home. Laura lingers and buys the succulent fruit from the goblin men. The price for the precious fruit was nothing but a golden lock of hair. Laura went home and promised to bring fruit for Lizzie the next night. However, when the following nights came and went, Laura could not hear the cries of the goblin men. Her health was waning and when she co!
uld hold on to life no longer, Lizzie went to the goblins to buy their forbidden fruit for Laura. After Lizzie bought the fruit and refused to eat it with the goblin men they taunted her and pressured her, pressed the fruit to her lips and let the juices drip onto ...
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