Lady Lazarus Essay

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Lady Lazarus Analysis The poem “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath is a disturbing attempt of humoring the speakers counted suicide attempts. Death, or the act of killing one’s self, is spoken upon as an “art”, a jovial cat-like experience and circus-like spectator sport. The poem is immersed with the self-mockery and irony of the speaker bragging about her almost suicides as successful. The tone makes the reader wonder the real intent of the speaker because if suicide is truly genuine death is the outcome. The piece begins with the speaker addressing possibly a shrink or psychiatrist and informing the reader of her latest “managed” suicide attempt (3). She compares the glow of her skin to the glow of “Nazi lampshades” (5). This is a terrifying depiction of countless innocent Jews, killed and skinned, and turned into light fixtures. She is glowing with pride, success, and confidence. She is not afraid of death. She mocks death. According to the Oxford English dictionary Lazarus is an allusion to the resurrection of Lazarus from the bible. The speaker is applauding her god like abilities to survive suicide and recreate herself when in all reality she is failing at it and staying constant. The speaker is tricking herself into believing that her suicide was a success every time and it miraculous that she is alive, recreating, reincarnating herself. In line 10 the speaker invites the psychiatrist and all the spectators to “peel of the napkin” that is her face, her identity, her façade and witness her Lazarus like inspiring resurrections. The speaker then compares herself to a cat with 9 lives, and her suicides as public reoccurring events every 10 years. She does mention there is a charge to attend such a public event as if it were some sort of freak show (57). To the audience willing to watch, she teases, “do I terrify” (12)? Death and suicide are common taboos that
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