Rossetti, Goblin market

Rossetti isn’t afraid to list all of the type of orchard fruits almost with no regard for its implications on the reader. As a result the poem seems quite modern style as well as experimental. The occasional repetition of the words “come buy, come buy” gives it a kind of sing song quality. The goblins are used to describe devilish type figures who tempt women, Laura and Lizzie in particular, to buy the fruit. According to Wikipedia, it has been suggested that this poem was inspired by Rossetti’s time as a volunteer at the St. Mary’s Magdelaine “house of charity” for fallen women, i.e. prostitutes. This is particularly evident in the lines “their offers should not charm us, their evil gifts would harm us.” Thus the fruit represent monetary gifts, perhaps jewelry.

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