Lady Lazarus By Sylvia Plath Analysis

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Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” speaks of Plath’s failed suicide attempts and the concept of death. The poem itself is extremely personal and terribly dark. Through diction, figurative language and tone Plath is able to convey the idea in which she is a female version of Lazarus, hence the title of her poem, criticizing how society has treated her and her own self-portrait.
Right off the bat, Plath masks the theme of death. In the first tercet Plath confesses that she has “done it again” and every ten years manages “it”, she never specifically addresses what this action is until later in the piece but instead sets the overall theme, which is death; both figurative and literal. As haunting as it is, Plath furthermore talks of death as she introduces a reoccuring allusion and metaphor to her piece. The story of Lazarus’ briefly touched as she is “a sort of walking miracle” as Lazarus was seen as. The metaphor refers to the holocaust, Plath sees herself as a victim whose skin and right foot is used to make a “Nazi lampshade” and “a paperweight.” Plath emerges herself in the story of Lazarus as she begins to indirectly address her audience, telling them to peel off the napkin to show her face and asks “Do I terrify?----”. Plath then lists characteristics of herself, both as a living and dead person, this fits how she sees herself perfectly. When Lazarus died he was buried in a cave; feet, hands, and face covered with linen. Plath speaks of such cave more fondly
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