Presentation on theme: "Christina Rossetti “Aesthetics of Renunciation”. Biographical Overview Grew up in a family of Italian exiles Poor health and financial trouble in adolescence."— Presentation transcript:
Female Stereotypes Lizzie—“Angel in the House” –“Placid,” “content,” “like a royal virgin town” –Resists temptation –Content with domestic duties Laura—“Fallen Woman” –“Like a leaping flame,” a “restless brook,” a “vessel at launch when its last restraint is gone” –Succumbs to temptation –“Sick” of domestic duties
Symbols Forbidden Fruit –Forbidden experience (lines 40-45) –Illicit sexuality—erotic imagery, punishment typical of fallen women (lines 141-162) Goblin Men –Temptation of “evil gifts” (line 66) –Men who sexually seduce and abandon women
Sensual Imagery vs. Message of Self-Denial Reinforces Victorian domestic ideal –Lizzie’s heroism is based in self- denial –Lizzie and Laura become wives and mothers (lines 543-567)
Sensual Imagery vs. Message of Self-Denial Critiques Victorian domestic ideal –Laura is redeemed –Laura’s longing is sympathetically portrayed –Erotic imagery suggests intense desire and dissatisfaction with self-denial
Lesbian Subtext Erotic imagery of the sisters’ relationship, message of female solidarity No biographical evidence that Rossetti was lesbian Subconscious expression of lesbian desire?
Lesbian Subtext Repressed sexuality of Victorian culture emerging in “safe” imagery of sisterly affection Expresses longing and deprivation that accompany the Victorian domestic ideal
“Goblin Market,” the Musical You are listening to the 1985 stage musical, “Goblin Market,” by Polly Pen and Peggy Harmon The musical implies Rossetti’s Lizzie and Laura are two sides of the feminine consciousness –Desire to fulfill conventional female role of self-denial (Lizzie) –Desire to venture beyond domestic role for self-fulfillment