Dark Fairytale:A Midnight Dynasty Anthology Kindle Edition
In her poem “Goblin Market”, Christina Rossetti uses rhyme and structure to create a childlike presence within her twisted tale. This childlike presence allows Rossetti to cause tension and dread within her audience as the innocence within the rhyme and structure of the poem merges with the poem’s darker context. Her use of structure and rhyme also allows Rossetti to further highlight the dark nature of her characters, such as the goblin men.
Rossetti creates a childlike presence from the very first stanza of her poem. She first introduces the goblin men as they entice people, specifically young maidens, to buy their wares as they cry “‘Come buy, come buy’”. The rhyme established in this first stanza creates a childlike song that contradicts the goblin men who sing it. This song within the first stanza adds an innocence to the piece and is first dismissed by the audience as they grow tired with the song, as one eventually dismisses and grows tired of a child’s song. However, this dismissal is soon removed within the next stanza as one of the sisters, Laura, cautions “We must not look at goblin men,/ We must not buy their fruits: Who knows upon what soil they fed/ Their hungry thirsty roots?” A childlike essence is still present within the rhyme but the darker undertones of the piece are now introduced. This continues throughout the piece, a simple rhyme tainted by a darker context, which allows Rossetti to create tension within the audience through the unnatural contrast of innocent form and corrupt context. This also creates dread within the audience as the innocence brought on by the childlike essence of the piece is slowly corrupted until the goblin men’s true nature is revealed.
This unraveling of the goblin men’s true nature is greater highlighted by Rossetti’s use of structure within the monumental scene between Lizzie and the goblin men. The goblin men display their false front when they first see Lizzie. They “Came towards her hobbling/ Flying, running leaping” and “Hugg’d her and kiss’d her:/ Squeez’d her and caress’d her:” They welcome her as she tries to buy one of their fruit but when she refuses to eat the fruit, their greeting is cast aside to reveal their true nature in the next stanza over as “Their looks were evil”. Rossetti effectively positions the false front of the goblin men and their true nature side by side. This use of structure causes a greater impact within the audience as the illusion that the goblin men first presented is removed not only through reading the poem but also by allowing the audience to visually see the distinction between the false front the goblin men present and the corruption that they truly are. Rossetti’s use of rhyme within this section is also effective in highlighting the goblin men’s true nature as the stanza describing their cruel actions towards Lizzie breaks away from the childlike rhyme that dominates the poem. Rossetti effectively uses both rhyme and structure to create a childlike presence to her poem that contradicts its darker context. This allows Rossetti to cause tension and dread within her audience, as well as effectively highlight the true nature of the goblin men.
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In her poem “Goblin Market”, Christina Rossetti uses rhyme and structure to create a childlike presence within her twisted tale. This childlike presence allows Rossetti to cause tension and dread […]