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Research Article: Plath, Sylvia

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 76 pages of information about Plath, Sylvia.
This section contains 9,728 words
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Sylvia Plath: General Commentary

Christina Britzolakis (Essay Date 1999)

SOURCE: Britzolakis, Christina. "The Spectacle of Femininity." In Sylvia Plath and the Theatre of Mourning, pp. 135-56. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.

In the following essay, Britzolakis surveys Plath's poems as examples of ironic self-analysis in response to the cultural objectification femininity as a commodity fit for mass consumption.

Although Plath is often celebrated as the poet of anguished authenticity, she can equally be seen as harnessing the expressive conventions of the lyric cry for a language of elaborate inauthenticity. Her rhetoric encodes a spectacular relation between poet and audience, foregrounding questions of sexuality and power in ways which have only recently begun to be acknowledged. The later Plath in particular makes her distinctive black comedy by crossing Orphic myths of the inspired poet with an ironic deployment of stereotypes of alienated or objectified femininity. In this chapter...

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This section contains 9,728 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Plath, Sylvia Encyclopedia Article
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