Abraham Lincoln's the Suicide Soliloquy vs. Sylvia Plath's Edge Essay

Pages: 3 (901 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … Sylvia Plath and Abraham Lincoln wrote about suicide, and therefore both undoubtedly contemplated the act. Plath did end her own life, though, whereas Lincoln's life ended by his homicide at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. Suicide and its accompanying emotional components are not novel topics for poets. Poetry is defined by its emotionality and hyperbole. Suicide is, however, a taboo topic in American culture because of the ingrained optimism that is a part of the country's worldview. Manifest Destiny and the American Dream preclude morbid thinking and so suicidal ideation is not widely expressed in American literature. Therefore, Plath's and Lincoln's poetry both bear the mark of taboo American literature given the frank nature of their discussions of self-annihilation. Written over one hundred years apart, Plath's "Edge" and Lincoln's "Suicide's Soliloquy" each offer unique perspectives on death and suicide. The differences between Plath's and Lincoln's poems can not necessarily be attributed to different social norms, as suicide was as taboo in the nineteenth as the twentieth century. Rather, Plath and Lincoln both write about suicide using the literary conventions typical of their generation. Plath relies on the unconventional meter and subtle allusions common to modern free verse whereas Lincoln wrote with strong poetic structure and more straightforward references to the core subject matter. Even though Lincoln uses poetic language and literary devices that are outmoded, his writing is equally as accessible as Plath's.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Abraham Lincoln's the Suicide Soliloquy vs. Sylvia Plath's Edge Assignment

During the nineteenth century, the Romantic Movement swept across the Western world. Poetry and prose contained melodramatic elements including hyperbole, allusions to ancient Greek, Roman, or Egyptian civilizations, and extended metaphors. The twentieth century's two world wars gave rise to a much greater literary cynicism. By the time Plath wrote her verses, the conventions of poetry Lincoln still ascribed to including formal rhyme schemes had all but vanished. Plath's "Edge" is wholly without a rhythm or rhyme scheme. A free verse poem, "Edge" is also highly personal. However, Lincoln's "Suicide's Soliloquy" reveals as much personal information about the poet's state of mind as Plath's. In both "Edge" and "Suicide Soliloquy," the narrators directly address the taboo topic of death.

Lincoln's poem is far more direct and more straightforwardly about suicide than Plath's is. The title of Lincoln's poem reveals the main subject matter immediately. Plath's poem offers a metaphor for being on the "edge" of sanity and also of being close to death. Her poem is also written in third person, whereas Lincoln's is told in first person perspective. Therefore, Lincoln's poem seems more personal and intimate because the poet and his narrator establish a close relationship with the reader. Plath's unnamed narrator and the unnamed woman she describes lend an air of mystery… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Abraham Lincoln's the Suicide Soliloquy vs. Sylvia Plath's Edge.  (2008, July 17).  Retrieved July 5, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/abraham-lincoln-suicide-soliloquy-sylvia/901531

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"Abraham Lincoln's the Suicide Soliloquy vs. Sylvia Plath's Edge."  17 July 2008.  Web.  5 July 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/abraham-lincoln-suicide-soliloquy-sylvia/901531>.

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"Abraham Lincoln's the Suicide Soliloquy vs. Sylvia Plath's Edge."  Essaytown.com.  July 17, 2008.  Accessed July 5, 2020.