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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 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 specific rhyme sche...

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

Plath 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 nursery rhyme topics,...

Tough-O-Meter

This 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 long climb t...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

While 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 does...

Shout Outs

"There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" – nursery rhyme (lines 1-5) World War II (lines 16-18, 31-33, 42, 45-46, 48)Adolf Hitler (line 43)Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (line 65) San Francisco...

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