A Study of the Palimpsest in Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market"
This paper investigates certain Biblical issues that act together as a palimpsest for "Goblin Market" and also discusses that Christina Rossetti, instead of borrowing from the Bible in a straightforward manner, aestheticizes the religious context so as to reinforce the intensity of the psychological struggles of the characters and to demonstrate the richness and complexity of a piece of literary writing that is tapped into a Biblical and mythic labyrinth. There is power in words and confession, as Hebrews 11:3 informs readers that God spoke the world into existence — "the worlds were framed by the word of God" (KJV). As such, in "Goblin Market", storytelling or literary creation is an act of thanksgiving, a sign of creative energy and a reminder of valuable lessons learned in the hard way. The poem begins with the goblins' words that ensnare but ends with protective and comforting words of the redeemed. Such a conclusion is a closure implying a possible coherent re-reading of the Biblical principles through which Rossetti gained her voice and understanding as an individual and a poet.
Keywords: Biblical Concepts, Palimpsest, Self and Identity, Gender Studies, Literary Redemption
Dr. Linda Pui-ling Wong
Assistant Professor, English Language and Literature Department, Hong Kong Baptist University