Illustration for the cover of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), by her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Author: Christina Rossetti (sister of the Pre-Raphaelite artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti who illustrated her poems)
Date: 1862 (Victorian)
Genre: Narrative poem
Lizzie (the "wise" one)
Laura (the one who indulges in the fruits)
The Goblin Men
Jeanie (the other "fallen" woman in the story; she wasted away after eating the Goblin's fruits)
female sexuality and the "fallen" woman
predatory male sexuality
Consider the poem as a cautionary tale. What is the "message"?
What does the fruit represent? Consider how it is presented/marketed, what effect it has on the women who eat it, and its physical characteristics (smell, taste, texture, pulp, and juices).
Discuss the characterizations in this poem. Is Laura a victim? Are the Goblin Men villains? What is the role of Lizzie?
How is sexuality, both male and female, represented in this poem?
Is this a Christian poem with a Christian message and Christian archetypes? or is it an anti-consumerism/anti-capitalism poem? or is it a feminist poem? or is it a fairy tale?
How does the poem depict men and women? what are the defining characteristics of men and women according the poem?
Discuss Laura and Lizzie as both
"rebel" lesbian lovers and as "traditional" wives and mothers.