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Analysis and comments on The Rival by Sylvia Plath

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Comment 5 of 15, added on June 2nd, 2008 at 3:11 PM.

I saw this poem as Plath's way of counting the increasing distance between
Ted and herself. In the poem, I felt there was reference to Medusa in the
line "And your first gift is making stone out of everything." I gave a
sense of coldness and led well into her prison/death sentence of being
trapped in his "mausoleum." I'd like to count this poem as more of a
mockery and expression of anxiety towards her husband more than anything.

Emily from United States
Comment 4 of 15, added on April 16th, 2006 at 8:07 PM.

Line 11 should have the word abases, not abuses.

Amanda from United States
Comment 3 of 15, added on February 28th, 2006 at 12:01 PM.

I think the poem is about her relationship with Ted. He was a follower of
Robert Graves and there are a number of references in both writers works in
regard to the Moon and it's reference to mythology.
"I wake to a mausoleum" is refering to Ted, she often referred to him as
"Stone Man". He was becoming increasingly distant and her poems during
this time were an attempt to put her finger on what was going on.

Lorie Davies from Canada
Comment 2 of 15, added on February 12th, 2006 at 12:01 AM.

Personally i think the poem tells us the relationship between Plath and her
mother, a rival in her own living. As the moon has the light and black
side, the mother also seems to be such a person in her life.

Gooften from China
Comment 1 of 15, added on November 7th, 2005 at 8:06 AM.

I think this poem talks about rivals and rivalry in the world. The mood is
gloomy and depressing. I cried when I read it. So powerful...so moving.

Ajay Ram from India

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about The Rival

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: The Rival
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: 1961
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 781 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 13 2005

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