Daddy
Daddy
by Sylvia Plath

Daddy Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Free Verse QuintainsFree verse means that there is no set pattern of rhythm or rhyme, and a quintain is a five-line stanza. There are 16 quintains breaking up this long poem.Even though there is no...

Speaker

Usually we're super-strict about keeping the speaker of a poem separate from the author of a poem. After all, poets often create fictional personas who they imagine to be speaking their work – no...

Setting

This poem shifts settings and most of them are metaphorical. So, instead of being in an actual place, we're taken from place to place in the speaker's mind.The setting in her mind starts out as the...

Sound Check

This poem sounds like a dark, disturbing nursery rhyme. Violence has never before sounded so playful.But the playfulness – the rhythmic lilting and over-the-top rhyme – makes the violen...

What's Up With the Title?

The title "Daddy" sets this up as an address to the speaker's father. Even though the word "daddy" is only used six other times in this 80-line poem, since the poem is titled "Daddy," we can guess...

Calling Card

Playful ViolencePlath sometimes uses such playful language, rhythm, and rhyme that you'd think you were reading a nursery rhyme. But don't be tricked – her singsong writing is not about nurse...

Tough-O-Meter

(5) Tree LineThis poem has tons of tricky metaphors, references to places and historical events, and even words in a foreign language that could trip you up on your climb. At 80 lines, it's quite a...

Brain Snacks

Sylvia Plath's first meeting with her husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes, was very dramatic. She met him while on a Fulbright Scholarship at Cambridge University, in England. She walked up to him, int...

Sex Rating

PG-13While this poem is at no point explicitly sexual, its speaker marries a man she thinks is just like her father – and both men happen to be compared to vampires. While not explicit, this...

Shout Outs

Literary and Philosophical References"There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" – nursery rhyme (lines 1-5) Historical ReferencesWorld War II (lines 16-18, 31-33, 42, 45-46, 48)Adolf Hitler...

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