Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath - Poetry Analysis

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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…show more content…
There are a number of themes brought up in 'Lady Lazarus'. One theme is the holocaust. In the 2nd stanza, Plath mentions a "Nazi lampshade". This refers to the myth that the Nazis used Jewish skin from the victims of the holocaust to make pieces of furniture such as "lampshade" and "paperweight". This idea adds to the disturbance of the poem whilst illustrating the main theme of death. Another theme is the phoenix. This is a mythical, red haired bird that burns when it dies and resurrects out of the ash. Plath describes this process in her poem: "I turn and burn...Out of the ash/I rise with my red hair". The idea of the phoenix resurrecting gives the reader powerful imagery whilst reinforcing the fact that Sylvia Plath wants to die but keeps coming back to life, like a phoenix. However, she sees this as a negative, which relates to, in my opinion, the most important aspect of this poem: the demonic tone. Plath uses carnival imagery to convey the image of her death being like a show, where people come to watch: "The Peanut-crunching crowd/Shoves in to see". This idea is disturbing and adds to the demonic tone of the poem. Also, she refers to Satan in the 27th stanza: "Herr God, Herr Lucifer"; she is also demonising God in this quote, which is blasphemous and some might say evil. Finally, the image of a fire doesn't just relate to a phoenix burning but also the fires of "hell": "...melts to a shriek./I turn and
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