THEMES OF SYLVIA PLATH

Sylvia Plath deals with multi-dimensional themes in her poetry but she has worked mainly with the theme of death and suicides. In all of Plath’s poetry the theme of death is very prominent. Plath’s work is heavily autobiographical which depicts her life and influenced her poetic sensibility. Three biographical facts should be taken into consideration in order to understand Plath’s poetry: premature death of her father, the separation from her husband Ted, Hughes and her suicide attempts- first unsuccessful at twenty-one and the final one on her thirtieth year.

Confessional poets like Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and John Berryman in their poetry glorified the personal and private, expressing their innermost secrets aloud for all to hear. They all died of self-inflicted deaths. When these confessional poets speaks of their breakdown and failures, they drew themselves deep into sorrow and despair, often resulting in thoughts of self-destruction, which formed the major theme of their poem. Plath in her poem ‘Lady Lazarus’ speaks of her previous suicide attempts and in ‘Daddy’ the memory of her father had to be shaken off to breathe freely.

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