Skip to main content

Re-imagining Goblin Market: A Creative Collaboration by the Rossetti's

by Amanda Cosco

Come and Kiss me

In reworking Goblin Market’s frontispiece, I also confronted the problem of the gaze. In opening the eyes of Lizzie and Laura, I hope to subvert the power dynamic between the viewer and the viewed: Lizzie and Laura’s eyes accost the viewer, establishing equality in the exchange of glances. In class, we discussed how the mirror on the wall in Dante Gabriel’s original illustration furthers the idea of the gaze, along with the eyelet design on the bed-sheets. I removed the mirror and eyelets to challenge the theme of gazing. Also, opening the eyes of the female figures suggests the metaphorical “sight” gained by Eve after tasting the apple.

I also allude the biblical Eve — the most iconographical female eater — in the upper lefthand corner of my illustration. The female figure depicted eats an apple with a tree in the background, gesturing towards the story in Genesis. In retelling the story of the woman who eats the forbidden fruit, Goblin Market alludes to the story of Genesis, where God punishes the hungry Eve for eating the fruit of knowledge. My smaller illustration harkens back to Dante Gabriel’s original, in which he depicted a dream bubble with little goblin men in the same space. By transforming the dream bubble into a large apple, I hope to situate Goblin Market within wider discourses of food and eating. I tried to reinforce my aim of highlighting the iconography of the text by making the Eve-figure in the image of Snow White. By calling on the iconographical image of Eve and the pop cultural image of Snow White, I meant to expose how Goblin Market both draws from — and contributes to — a collective cultural consciousness.