Compare the Ways in Which Rossetti and Tennyson Employ and Adapt Aspects of the Fairy and Folk Tale Genres in Their Poetry

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Compare the ways in which Rossetti and Tennyson employ and adapt aspects of the fairy and folk tale genres in their poems Goblin Market and The Lady of Shalott

Although “Goblin Market” and “The Lady of Shalott” differ in several aspects, they are the poems on which Rossetti and Tennyson’s careers were established.

Rossetti claims “Goblin Market” was a children’s poem, however, many of the themes within the poem make such a claim seem dubious at best. The poem is comprised of twenty seven stanzas of varying lengths, with irregular rhyming schemes and meters. The first stanza begins with “Morning and evening”, which bears resemblance to many fairy tale introductions. In the second line the reader is introduced to another fairy tale aspect as “Maids heard the goblins cry”. The first stanza and several others employ repetition, a common technique within fairy tales. Rossetti also utilises similes throughout the poem, although one does not come across them particularly often, there are many placed directly after each other; the third stanza is merely six lines long yet four of these lines are devoted to similes. The rhyme within the poem fluctuates between couplets, ABAB rhymes and simply repeating several rhymes in succession. Rossetti describes the goblins as “furry” and having a “cat’s face”. Such descriptions ensure a sensation of harmlessness; however, these amicable characteristics are the guises of tricksters, very much akin to the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood”. The poem features temptation and sin; Laura sees the vast array of irresistible fruit, and despite having been told she must not, she exchanges a lock of her hair for some of the fruit. This strongly relates back to the story of “Adam and Eve”, when they disobey god and consume the forbidden fruit.

Rossetti uses many classic fairy tale techniques and themes; however, she has adapted them, without divulging from actually being a fairy tale, to convey more modern themes in an original way....
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