In an introduction to "Daddy" prepared for the BBC, Sylvia Plath explained that
"the poem is spoken by a girl with an Electra complex. Her father died while she thought he was God. Her case is complicated by the fact that her father was also a Nazi and her mother very possibly part Jewish. In the daughter the two strains marry and paralyze each other--she has to act out the awful little allegory once over before she is free of it."
The figure of "Electra" used by Plath is a Greek daughter whose relationship to her tyrannical father--Agamemnon, who sacrificed his other daughter, Iphigenia, to the winds--is erotically charged. After Agamemnon is killed, Electra's mother, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, abuse Electra because of her loyalty to the memory of her father. Out of her hatred toward her mother and her love for her father, Electra urges her exiled brother to return and to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
The conflation of Agamemnon-father-Hitler-husband is both haunting and powerful in "Daddy," in which the pull of patriarchy is so strong that the daughter/speaker needs to kill her father/husband in order to free herself from them. However, even when she has resolved to kill her father, she is still half in love with him. Give me some lines or imageries that for you illustrate this emotional ambivalence.
A dramatic monologue is a form of poem that was perfected by Robert Browning. According to M. H. Abrams's A Glossary of Literary Terms, it involves a single person who "addresses and interacts with one or more other people; but we know of the auditors' presence and what they say and do only from clues in the discourse of the single speaker." And "the main principle controlling the poet's choice and organization of what the lyric speaker says is to reveal to the reader...the speaker's temperament and character" (48).
Discuss any of Browning's poems that shows his genius for dramatizing different kinds of personalities. Describe and analyze the speaker's distinctive temperament, citing pertinent evidence to prove your point.
Dear all,大二學長李旻 (Ronny)將會擔任本學期文讀同儕課輔的小老師，以下是課輔時間：
3/22(二) (文D105晚上7點-9點)Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”
W. D. Snodgrass, “Leaving the Motel”
William Blake, “London”
Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan”
3/26(六)(文D105晚上7點-9點)William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow” “This
is Just to Say”
Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Pied Beauty”
Oscar Wilde, “Symphony in Yellow”
John Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”
“Ode on a Grecian Urn”
3/29(二)(文D105晚上7點-9點)Robert Browning, “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”
Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”
Tomas Hardy, “The Ruined Maid”
Margaret Atwood, “Death of a Young Son by Drowning”
Audre Lorde, “Hanging Fire”
4/9(六)(文D105晚上7點-9點)Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “When our two souls stand
Christina Rossetti, “In an Artist’s Studio”
Sylvia Plath, “Point Shirley” “Morning Song”
A good way to start analyzing a poem is to look for a central opposition. In a lot of poems you will find that an opposition or a tension exists and operates at several levels. A careful analysis will unfold a poem's basic structure in which one group of images is set against opposing images. And this tension enables the poet to develop and bring her/his theme to life in a forceful way. In other words, your analysis of a poem will be more effective as you look at some of these ways in which the poet uses details to develop this basic opposition.
Here comes your writing assignment: Identify the central opposition in any of the following poems: Adrienne Rich's "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers," John Keats's "Ode to a Nightingle," or "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Try to explain how the poet presents and develops her/his central opposition to bring her/his theme to life.