Tone in Sylvia Plath's Lady Lazarus

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Tone in Sylvia Plath's "Lady Lazarus"

In “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath, the speaker’s tone is revealed through many different poetic aspects. Throughout her writing, the speaker’s attitude towards death appears to be happy but, when looking more closely at Plath’s use of poetic devices her attitude is bitter. Shown mainly through the diction, images, sounds and repetition, this depressing tone emphasizes the speaker’s feelings about death. First, diction or word choice used throughout this poem depicts apart the meaning and stresses the tone. Next, the images used to describe the speaker’s experiences with death shows the emotions and thoughts that go through the speaker’s mind concerning death. These events the speaker experiences give a vivid description, which reveal her attitude. Lastly, the repetition and sounds throughout the poem encourage the importance of the poem. Through diction, images, repetition and sounds depicts apart the poem in showing the true meaning and most essentially, the part of this poem that reveals her attitude towards death.

The title is the first indication that Plath uses diction to underline the tone and attitudes towards death by the speaker. “Lady Lazarus” firsts suggests that this speaker is a woman. Then, for “Lazarus” Plath alludes to an occurrence in the Bible, where Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:44). This use of diction from the beginning shows that Plath’s speaker or the woman’s manner and outlook towards death, which means that she has attempted suicide, but has not been successful. Next, in the first line of the poem, “I have done it again” (1), suggests disappointment and sadness in this woman’s life. This first statement therefore, brings the ...

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... tone of the speaker through her attitude.

In conclusion, Plath’s exercises various poetic devises that emphasize the attitude towards death by the speaker. Diction as a poetic devise shows though the choices that Plath makes in the selection of her words to depict the unenthusiastic tone of the poem. Then, the next poetic devise used is imagery, which was the most affective devise because of the vivid images the audience can imagine in their own minds. This approach also represents the depressing attitude and tone towards death. Lastly, the sounds and repetition are also used to show and express the downing aspects of the poem, including the tone and the attitude of the speaker. All together they make up just some of the important poetic devises that are being used in this poem that can analyze the speaker’s attitude towards death, which clearly is deadly.
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