Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”


The passage I am focusing on for this close reading of Goblin Market is from line 32 to line 80.  This passage really drew me in because I felt like it was very similar to Paradise Lost by John Milton. The goblins in this poem remind me of the snake in Paradise Lost in the way that they are almost seductive in the way they advertise the fruit. The forbidden fruit itself is a big similarity between these two pieces.

In this passage Lizzie very much reminds me of God when he tells Adam and Eve to not eat the fruit. We can see this where Lizzie says, “We must not look at goblin men,/We must not buy their fruits.” She is telling Laura not to look at the goblin men and buy their fruits for it will tempt her, such as the snake tempted Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Rossetti repeats the words “We must not” in both lines to show the significance of how evil the goblins are. It also shows how Lizzie is trying to look out for her sister and guide her down the right path, instead of eating the fruit and having the same fate as Jeanie.

The goblins call out to the girls, saying, “Come buy” repeatedly, still tempting them as the snake did to Eve. Laura especially reminds me of Eve when Rossetti writes, “Curious Laura chose to linger.” Rossetti uses alliteration in this line, focusing on repetition of c’s and l’s. The word curious is what really drew me in, because when Eve was in Paradise, she was very curious about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as well as the forbidden fruit that grew from the tree.

As seen in later passages Laura buys and eats the fruit, just as Eve ate the fruit, as well as Laura’s near death experience is similar to Eve becoming a mortal and the fall of man.  Rossetti’s Goblin Market reminded me very much of John Milton’s Paradise Lost with the references to forbidden fruit and seductive creatures.

One thought on “Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”

  1. Wow, what do you think is the significance of making a female character like Lizzie a “God” character in the poem? Do you think Rosetti was trying to make a feminist statement about religion?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s