Dude, This is Some Serious Stuff

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I was told by a friend that if I like Poe, I would like Plath and she was somewhat correct. Poe's the man, 'nuff said.

Sylvia Plath: Lady Lazarus

"Herr God, Herr Lucifer,
Beware
Beware

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air" (lines 79-84)

Earlier in the poem, the narrator said how she was like a cat with nine lives in the fact that she has cheated death so many times. The narrator mentions God and Lucifer because one of the two will have your soul after you die and since she cheated death, she is in a sense immortal and ever present.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL237/2009/09/plath_in_kelly_237-243/

 

3 Comments

Josie Rush said:

That's an interesting take on why both God and Lucifer were mentioned. When I was thinking about that, I imagined she was referring to the people who had "saved" her life as both God and Lucifer. The doctor is, after all, doing a very God-like thing by instilling life in the lifeless (who else can do that but God?), however he is also sending her back to the hell that is her life; she's being condemned and having her art disrupted. Hence, he's both God and Lucifer.

I felt the same as Josie. However, I think your interpretation is also interesting. How would you explain the last stanza, though, about rising out of the ashes and eating men like air? Do you think she's referring to the same man she mentioned throughout the poem, or are they all different people?

Brooke Kuehn said:

Kayla, i had a similar reaction to the mentioning of God and Lucifer. Her ability to defy the nature of death made her believe she had overpowered both good and evil.
Josie, interesting take on it. i felt as though she was threatening the doctors and others who kept trying to fix her throughout the poem, but i never thought of her reference to God and Lucifer as representing that.

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