Death and Sorrow in Sylvia Plath's "Lady Lazarus" - fragment analysis

Essay by madalina22University, Bachelor's October 2006

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"So, so, Herr Doktor.

So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,

I am your valuable,"

Plath's poem is written in the confessional style, meaning that the participant is highly sensitive, relating painful experiences of her life.

"Lady Lazarus" was written after her divorce. Her desire for death is not due only to her mental illness and her husband leaving her, but also to the fact that her father had refused any treatment himself, thus leading to his death; Sylvia could have been influenced by this.

The title refers to the New Testament of the Bible; Lazarus is a man who rises from the dead at the command of Jesus Christ. The poem was completed prior to her suicide in 1963, and is a message from Plath to the world relating her life, her pain and struggles.

The use of minimalism, fragmentation, irony at the war and atrocities there, the dramatization of the women's life are just a few themes that belong to modernism.

The fragment above is a harsh allusion to the Nazis, because the wedding rings, the tooth fillings were harvested from the imprisoned Jews during the Holocaust, and their remains were used to make soap - she mingles among them, she is one of them , their sorrows are hers and their suffering is hers - an extended metaphor.

That is why she tried to recreate pain, death, sadness and disappointment with the humanity and society.

She uses a macabre imagery and irony at the men surrounding her in her third attempt to suicide. The doctors that saved her are her enemy, the Nazis, torturing her by forcing her to live.

Even if she is different from them, their "opus", she is extremely valued by them because she is an experiment, and that also refers...