Plot in Goblin Market
Rossetti's “The Goblin Market” tells the story of two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, who interact with a band of goblins and the sisterly love that saves Laura from a life of suffering. At the beginning of the story, the sisters hear a call from the goblins in the woods and then listen to the cautionary tale of Jennie, who sampled the goods from the goblin market and wasted the rest of her life pining for the fruit.
However, Laura gives into temptation, offering a lock of her hair in exchange for a taste of the goblins’ fruits. Later, Laura discovers that she can’t hear the goblins nor find them. She begins to waste away, much like Jennie. Lizzie recognizes that her sister is dying and seeks out the goblins.
She arrives and resists the temptation of the fruit, angering the goblins enough that they try to force the fruit on her, covering her body in the flesh and juice of the fruits. Lizzie returns to Laura so she can have another taste of the fruit. Lizzie’s actions and the taste cure Laura. The end of the poem follows Laura and Lizzie to adulthood when they retell their children the story of the goblin market and of Lizzie’s sacrifice.