© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Colossus

The Colossus


by Sylvia Plath

The Colossus Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

"The Colossus" doesn't follow any particular meter. Its haunting images come in fairly conversational free verse. Still, the stanzas are all pretty tidy, with each having five lines. Why five...


It's widely known that Sylvia Plath's father died of untreated diabetes when she was very young. So, many have said that her many poems about the loss of a father were inspired by this. She's also...


This poem is all about setting. The speaker crawls around the ruins of the Colossus, a huge toppled statue. (It's kind of a weird thing to do, but to each her own, right?) The speaker gives us a re...

Sound Check

You won't find any specific rhyme scheme or meter in "The Colossus." Plath doesn't pull any of those other typical poetic tricks like assonance or alliteration either. Instead, she uses free verse...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of the poem is most likely a reference to the Colossus of Rhodes, a big mamma jamma of a statue that used to stand near the harbor of the ancient city. The Rhodians built the original Col...

Calling Card

Plath is often lumped into what's called "confessional poetry." This basically means that she and other poets like her weren't shy about drawing from personal experiences when writing their poems....


Sure, this poem has a few fancy shmancy words, but mostly the imagery is approachable and easy to understand.


Sylvia Plath's first meeting with Ted Hughes was crazy dramatic. Get this: she walked up to him, introduced herself, and recited his own poems to him. It seems like Plath picked the perfect pickup...

Steaminess Rating

It's all death and decay all the time here. Nope—no sex in this poem what so ever.


The Oresteia (16)The Colossus (title)The Roman Forum (18)Lysol (11)

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...