Compare "Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti with "God's Grandeur" by Gerard Manley Hopkins in terms of the function of imagination, female independence, and religious perspectives.

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Although both of these two works are examples of Victorian religious poetry, they are quite different in theme and subject matter.

Rossetti discusses women, with two sisters being the protagonists of the poem, while Hopkins does not mention women at all except as part of humanity in general (the term "man" in his poem is used to refer to both men and women). Hopkins was a member of the Jesuit order and while Rossetti did have suitors, she never married and often wrote about convents.

In both poems we have a strong sense of human failings, but in Rossetti's case sin involves sensual temptation, and in Hopkins's poem it involves failing to see God in the sensual beauty of the world. For Rossetti, the hallucinatory world of the market and the fruit peddled by the goblins is a form of temptation; imagination is what leads Laura to taste the fruit and to wither away when the real world pales in relation to the imaginary world peddled by the goblins. The world of the imagination is like a painting by Bosch, abundant and creative but ultimately a temptation that draws us away from God and duty and which, when observed closely, is filled with horror. For Hopkins, the imaginary world and the arts and their beauties function as allegories of the grandeur of God and can serve to draw us from the mundane and practical nature of our daily lives to contemplation of the divine.

The main religious distinction underlying this is that Hopkins was Roman Catholic and Rossetti Protestant. In Roman Catholic theology, art and images of the saints and earthly beauty can lead us to imagine heavenly beauty; theologically, this material embodiment of divine beauty is grounded in the notion of transubstantiation, where the Host becomes the flesh of Jesus. In Protestantism, generally God is seen as more transcendent, and the world of the senses as one of temptation leading us astray, as we see in "Goblin Market." 

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Goblin Market

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