Two Poems


Two Poems Essay, Research Paper

The personas depicted within Anne Sexton’s “Consorting with Angels” and

Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” demonstrate an open defiance of the

subservient female role in favor of a powerful mythological identity.

Each work chooses to use and extended metaphor to bring about a change

in the perspective of the feminine role. The two works are interested

in redefining the mythological identities to incorporate the female

sex; however, each work attacks the process differently. Sexton’s

“Consorting with Angels” first lines begins the persona’s experience

with an admission of her dissatisfaction with her former role: “I was

tired of being a woman/ tired of the spoons and the pots/ tired of my

mouth and my breasts/ tired of the cosmetics and the silks” (lines

1-3). Throughout the developement of the poem, the persona choses to

deny the former sex of her self until she arrives sexless. The death

of the self is remarkably similar to the ongoing death cycle that the

persona in Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” is accustomed to. Plath’s persona

provokes a slightly more sympathetic response in her admission because

she presents herself as a victim from the holocaust in World War II.

“My right foot/ A paperweight,/ My face a featureless, fine/ Jew linen”

in the early lines of the poem already indicates a sort of

objectification. The persona that Plath has created her persona to

move several phases because “dying is an art” while the existence of

the persona that ! Sexton has created is more interested in “the

answer” to the gender of things. That the death of the self occurs in

“Consorting with Angels” is a considerable focus; however, it functions

with an air of positiveness that is not present within “Lady Lazarus”

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