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The Hidden Truth Behind Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market and Speaking Likenesses: The Poetess’ Own Words as Key to Understanding her Troubled Mental Health

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.9, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 428-431

Keywords : English Literature; Victorian Age; Christina Rossetti; Mental Health; Goblin Market; Speaking Likenesses;

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In 1845 Christina Rossetti's mental health deteriorated raising questions that caught scholars' attention for decades. This paper aims to pursue a preliminary analysis aiming at answering what may have been the cause behind the alleged sudden decline of the poetess's psychological and physical well-being. The most popular hypotheses are two: the first sees Rossetti suffering from a mental breakdown, and the second and most recent one states that the poetess may have been the victim of a sexual assault. The proposed research follows a qualitative approach by analysing two poems by Rossetti (Goblin Market and Speaking Likenesses) and contextualising her lines to recent studies on the poetess's life. A definitive answer as regards of what was the true reason behind Christina Rossetti's mental health troubles is yet to be found. However, both poems highlight the depressive state of Rossetti and how this may have been determined by a strong sense of guilt and distress suffered by the poetess. Rossetti highly criticised the strict mindset she was raised in her work. Her state could have been either determined by reaching puberty with the consequent changes in her body or as a consequence of sexual awareness and temptation.

Last modified: 2024-06-24 13:54:11