Although Christina Rossetti, was a member of the Pre-Raphaelite inner circle and wrote poems about the brethren and their works, her poetry seems to have little in common with the hard-edge realism of early works by Collinson, Hunt, Millais, and her brother, for unlike Tennyson, she writes with little visual detail or word-painting, Her religious poetry draws on a long line of medieval and later tradition — from Dante through Milton and beyond — in its use of biblical language and symbolism. Like many of her contemporaries, including her brother, Tennyson, both Brownings, and Hopkins, she occasionally makes elaborate uses of typological symbolism.

Nonethless, "Goblin Market" and her poetry about love does not use such symbolism, and her work often resembles that of seventeenth-century poets in being more dependent upon analogy and nonvisual conceits than upon visual imagery. Taking "Goblin Market," one of her best known poems, as typical --is it? — how would you characterize her handling of simile and metaphor? What effect does her massing multiple comparisons in describing Lizzie produce ?

Last modified 25 November 2004