A comparison between Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" "Ariel" and "Lady Lazerus"

Essay by ahenHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2007

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Plath's poetry has many distinguishing features that portray the issue of power within the area of gender relations. She has a satirical approach that can be readily seen in poems such as Daddy and Lady Lazarus which are also two poems that are quite confrontational and emotional, they deal with the liberation of one-self through transformation throughout the poems. Ariel focuses more on self-empowerment and freedom, regardless of the limitations of gender.

Her purpose in all three poems was to confront, shock and hopefully shake people out of their ignorant complacent worlds and show them the truth.

The title of Ariel refers to the spiritual figure in Shakespeare's play The Tempest as well as referring to Plath's past, recalling the name of a horse she once rode. It conveys the idea of feminine magic or of a fairytale creature associated with the mystical bringing happiness. This initially brings about a sense of power and artistry through the joining of the physical and spiritual as described by the poem.

The text conveys that empowerment is not necessarily gender related, instead it is important to find inspiration in one-self. In this case it is through creativity in a none-vengeful way that transcends the idea of gender influencing your level of power and ability. Ariel sends the message to everyone, to reclaim power through self-reliance, and rise above by being yourself despite what type of society you live in or what it tells you to be.

Plath conveys the role expected of women by patriarchal society, "the child's cry/melts in the wall". Shows that she is freeing herself from distractions as she is ignoring the nurturing stereotype of a mother and instead of letting it tie her down she is freeing herself by unpeeling and getting rid of all restrictions. Whilst the...