Rossetti Critical Opinion (SHUT OUT (To her, nature was always a relief,…
Rossetti Critical Opinion
To her, nature was always a relief, an escape; certain aspects she responded to with a peculiarly exhilarating joyousness.” -
“In…Shut Out, the theme of love is addressed in various ways, and this poems show Rossetti’s gloomy outlook on human love after her personal experiences with James Collinson.” -
Feminist perspective -
written from a female point of view, wants the female voice to be heard, writing to express her negative view of the traditional relationship between a man and a woman, break the stereotypical idea of a patriarchal society.
stated that he cannot understand his sister unless one recognises that she was "an almost constant and often a sadly smitten invalid."
states that her views towards women are "far from conservative and often questioning, challenging and potentially subversive." This supports the idea that in "Good Friday" Rossetti is expressing her views surrounding the position of women in society.
Poetry involves “movement outwards, the breaking of barriers”
Rossetti’s poems are narrated by a female. This reflects how she wants the female voice to be heard
She is writing to express her negative view of the traditional relationship between man and woman as a means of breaking the stereotypical idea of a patriarchal society
NO THANK YOU JOHN
"the speaker is in no doubt about her mind as she firmly rejects a potential suitor in whom she has no interest. From start to finish, she resists John’s entreaties (we ‘hear’ some of his comments through reported speech) as she deploys impeccable logic and effectively turns his own arguments against him"
"What this poem asserts is the woman’s right to say ‘no’ and to claim independence and agency for herself. Certainly, she is not to be bullied into a relationship because a man or social convention more generally demands it"
"Yet John was not absolutely mythical for, in one of her volumes which I possess, Christina made a pencil jotting, ‘The original John was obnoxious because he never gave scope for ‘No, thank you’. This John was, I am sure the marine painter John Brett who had appeared to be somewhat smitten with Christina" -
William Michael Rossetti
"In Rossettis poems the end of desire is associated with the loss or lack of a lover"
Echo, Sister Louise
"poet seems to suggest at erotic fantasy is dangerously enjoyable, ultimately leading to a barren life of sexual fulfilment"
Goblin Market, Sister Louise
Rossetti creates "ambiguity, so covering herself against charges of ungodly and unfeminine content"
"Beneath the sentiments of compliance in her poetry there is often an uterine of resistance, surpassed passion and desperate longing"
Goblin Market, Sister Louise
"women (especially wives) at the times were so beholden to men that the only thing they could call their own was something as tangible as a secret"
Winter: My Secret
"When we shout at hills our voice rises as an echo in our ears . Similarly, the poetess wants to experience a visual echo" -
- weak woman, not able to let go, and sticking to traditions that she has to mourn in a certain way.
Freudian/ Jungian theory
- creates am image of a child, but also has some sexual images
ROUND TOWER AT JHANSI
argues that "we will see more contextualisation's of Rossetti's art within a variety of interrelated discourses, including those that address issues of gender, science, economics, politics, aesthetics, religion, or class structure."
- the woman is the brave one in the relationship. She says "i wish i could bear that png alone" suggesting she is independent and doesn't need to rely on her partner's strength - presenting Rosetti's views
"Women are constrained by the gender-roles into which a male-dominant society has places them." -
- one could argue that Rossetti is using the character or Maude to criticise the world she lives in from a distance
‘Rossetti frames the poem as an question-and-answer conversation between someone who is journeying through life and someone who has presumably already made it through life to the afterlife and has the answers." -
as a devout Christian, Rossetti likely horrified at what people read into the poem (evidence for subliminal sexual repression relating back to Jan Marshes ideas of possibly ancestral relationship between Rossetti and her farther)
can be read as allegory to Garden of Eden story , intertwines with theme of sexuality, Victorian times sex was seen as forbidden fruit, particularly for women due to 'double standard'. "Angel of the house' was expected to come to marriage bad as a virgin, and to not enjoy sex but to "lie back and think of England "
argues interaction with these women accounts for both the feminism and homoeroticism of "Goblin Market". Others suggest the poem was meant as means of cautioning these women about returning to their former ways.
FROM THE ANTIQUE
Feminist interpretation - stating how Rossetti feels the injustice of woman position in society as she wishes "i were a man" - wants to make a difference in the world rather than being seen as the weaker gender - shows like is a lot harder for women 'doubly blank"
"Christina Rossetti: Gendre and power'" - looking at how Rossetti's poem sits in the context of the representations of the oppression of women, female identity and gender stereotyped roles "the oppression and alienation which Many Victorian women might have experienced due to their exclusion from the key systems of power is felt strongly in Rossetti's four stanza poem which opes with an unflinching expression of despair"
"Miss Rossetti's poetry has always been ... melancholy with half sweet trouble of a young imagination" yet she agrees that a melancholy spirit does not "always have to be sad". In
, Rossetti shows an imagination "full of joy" -
"The beautiful ornateness in this poem - which is unusual in Rossetti's work - piles up image after image in the style of a Pre-Raphalite painting or a William Morris tapestry" -
"In the end, Rossetti's love for God always trumps the love of another human, but this does not by any means stop the narrators of her poems having abundant love for other people" -
"Being a woman in Victorian Britain meant tat you were doubly judged: by both men and by God"
GILBET + GILBAR
Rossetti was amongst the "singers of renunciation of her time "
Maude Clare,Goblin Market