"Daddy", one of Plaths most famous and detailed autobiographical poems, was written in the last years of her life and is saturated with suppressed anger and dark imagery. The sixteen stanza poem, through Plaths use of ambiguous symbolism, arguably is bitterly addressing Plaths father, who died when she was only eight, and her husband Ted Hughes, who had broken her "pretty red heart in two" (st.12, line 1). The poem is intense with once suppressed emotion, setting an aggressive, desperate, almost psychic tone and is highly concentrated on the theme of death. With Plath's application of various techniques including diction, imagery, enjambment, contrast, repetition and oxymoron, the poem comes across as shocking with the intensity of feeling and the passionate sadness that highlight the suicidal messages conveyed.
As is pointed out, the context of the poem "Daddy" is that of Plath's husband's affair with another woman.
Grieved to the point of psychotic anger Plath's use of imagery throughout the piece accentuates the hopeless despair of the speaker at the conflicting male relationships in Plath's life: first her father and then husband.
"Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot..."
The metaphor of 'black shoe' possibly used to denote a person, suggests a stifling image. The speaker claims to have lived in that shoe, almost as if unwillingly trapped. While it suggests a sort of protection, the colour imagery of black, which is a recurring motif in the poem, connotes to negativity: death, even decaying. This could further be interpreted to suggest that Plaths own voice is accusing her father of having trapped her by his sudden death; she is almost disclosing her great weakness before him even after his death and again returns to the initial idea of conflict and confusion. It...