Love’s Hate in Sylvia Plath’s Mad Girl’s Love Song and Hate Poem by Julie Sheehan

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William Congreve, a play writer wrote, “Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned, Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned” (459 Congreve). The feeling of betrayal and enraged love as described in Congreve’s mighty words, is cohesive between both Sylvia Plath’s, “Mad Girl’s Love Song”, and, “Hate Poem” by Julie Sheehan. Similarities that coexist between the two poems are: theme, imagery, and repetition. Love can be beautiful and bright, it can also be dark and depressing, as exemplified in both Plath’s and Sheehan’s writing.

Love that is filled with hatred and other powerful mixed emotion coincides in the theme of both Sylvia Plath’s, “Mad Girl’s Love Song”, and, “Hate Poem” by Julie Sheehan. Plath’s title a “Mad Girl’s Love Song” hints that the work is about an angry adolescent girl who is heartbroken. The title’s message entails feelings enraged with vengeance, remorse, and, hatred after a heart retching break up. As the poem story unfolds, a woman’s immense pain surfaces. The subject of the poem expresses a specific event, “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. / I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed/ And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane” (Plath). The first line of the quote builds towards the impending outcome that would forever change her personal outlook of life, “I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed”; the loss of virginity. Regardless woman or man, an individual’s virginity is a precious and valuable aspect of human life. From this passage, the reader can assume that Plath was tricked, as clued by the word “bewitched”, in giving her innocence to an undeserving man. Feeling broken and unfaithful she wishes, “I should have loved a thunderbird instead; / At least when the

spring comes they r...

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...her significant other. With specific detail hate is contributed to the equation, for the woman even the subtly of a keychain sends a message of broken love and impenetrable hate.

Hate is a primary emotion of a manifestation of anger. Love’s hate can be cruel, evil, deceiving, even heartbreaking. Poets Sylvia Plath and Julie Sheehan describe the wages of love’s deception by creating works involving theme, imagery and repetition to prove love is not a fair game.

Works Cited

Congreve, William, Alex Charles Ewald, and Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay. William Congreve. London: T.F. Unwin, 1903. 459. Print.

Cray, Dan. "God vs Science." Time Magazine 05 Nov. 2006: 1-10. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. .

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. An Introduction to Poetry. New York: Longman, 2002. Print.
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