Sylvia Plath’s Use of Myths

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Morning Song is a notable literary work by Sylvia Plath. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Morning Song.


Sylvia Plath’s Use of Myths

Sylvia Plath (1932 – 1963) is a renowned American poet of the mid-20th century. She often employed myths and mythological references to explore complex themes related to identity, transformation, and the human psyche. Her use of myths added depth and symbolism to her work, allowing readers to delve into her emotions and experiences.

One of the most prominent myths that Plath frequently indicated is that of the phoenix. It is a mythical bird that is reborn from its ashes. Plath’s poem “Lady Lazarus” is a prime example of her use of this myth. In this poem, the speaker compares herself to the phoenix. It emphasizes her ability to rise from the ashes of despair and suicide attempts. Plath’s use of the phoenix myth highlights her resilience and determined goal of self-renewal in the face of personal tragedy.

Another myth Plath often drew upon is the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone. It explores themes of motherhood, separation, and the seasons. Plath’s poem “Ariel” references this myth, with the horse imagery. It symbolizes power and liberation. The poem’s sincere and almost violent imagery and mythological allusions reflect Plath’s inner madness and her desire for autonomy and self-expression.

Sylvia Plath’s use of myths in her poetry served as a rich source of symbolism and metaphor. It allows her to explore deeply personal and often painful experiences universally and timelessly. Plath offered readers a window into her complex psyche and the human condition through these mythological references. It leaves a lasting impact on poetry and literature.