Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath - Poetry Analysis

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Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath - Poetry Analysis

By | June 2013
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'Lady Lazarus' was written by Sylvia Plath. On a literal level, this poem is about death and attempting suicide. It is most likely that it was written from Plath's personal experience as she was known for her suicidal nature. This poem has 28 tercet stanzas. There is no clear rhyme scheme yet rhyming can be found throughout this poem, for example "I have done it again/One year in every ten", so there is an irregular rhyme scheme. Literary devices such as end-stopped lines and enjambment are also used: "What a trash/To annihilate each decade." One important aspect is the demonic tone of this poem. The way that Plath seems to tell the story as if it were a show or carnival is another aspect which ties in to the demonic tone of 'Lady Lazarus'. Plath structures her poem in a certain way in order to create different effects. For example, enjambment is used: "The second time I meant/To last it out and not come back at all." Sylvia uses enjambment in order to make the poem run more smoothly. Also, end-stopped lines are used alongside enjambment: "The sour breath/Will vanish in a day." Enjambment and end-stopped lines are opposite ways of ending a line of a poem. Also, the end-stopped lines are irregularly placed. Therefore, this contrast and irregularity of structure makes the reader abruptly stop and think unexpectedly throughout the poem: "My knees." This makes the speaker almost spit the words out as they read, which adds to the demonic tone of this poem. The metre of this poem is an iambic pentameter because the 10 syllable lines, when read aloud, clearly follow an unstressed to stressed pattern: "A sort of walking miracle, my skin". However, this metre is not completely accurate throughout the poem. This adds to the irregularity of the poem and makes the reader sound less robotic and fixed to one metre throughout. Irregularity can also be seen in the rhyme scheme of this poem. There is no clear rhyme scheme, making it irregular. Moreover, there are some half...
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