Sylvia Plath The Poet

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Through her use of stylistic devices such as imagery, diction, and tone Sylvia Plath can be referred to as a confessional poet. A confessional poet is someone who literally confesses their innermost feelings and their deepest thoughts through their writing. Sylvia Plath was considered a confessional poet because of how she took every aspect of her traumatic life and formed them into words. Two of Plath's poems that are often considered extremely confessional are "Daddy"� and "Lady Lazarus,"� which are both found in the book of poems, Ariel.

Sylvia Plath's life needs to be studied in order to understand why her poetry conveys such a traumatic tone. Plath lived by the sea during her early childhood years. Her father, with whom she was very close to, studied bees as a hobby. He died from diabetes mellitus in 1940, when Plath was just eight years old. This disturbing event affected Plath and her writing, which often includes many references to father figures, sea imagery, and bees.

In the summer of her junior year of college, Plath suffered a severe mental collapse. She attempted to commit suicide and was institutionalized. Plath's life seemed to be improving when she married Ted Hughes in 1956. They had two children together, and seemed happy. However, Plath was becoming severely depressed. She had hospital stays for a miscarriage and an appendectomy. The final blow came when she and Hughes divorced a few years later. Plath became even more depressed, and her moods began to fluctuate. She felt vulnerable to male domination. She also began to feel helpless about death. All of these dark feelings and thoughts eventually led to her suicide in February of 1963, when she was only thirty-one years old. All of the events she experienced were formed into words on...