The personas depicted within Anne Sexton's "Consorting with Angels" and
Sylvia Plath's "Lady Lazarus" demonstrate an open defiance of the
subservient female role in favor of a powerful mythological identity.
Each work chooses to use and extended metaphor to bring about a change
in the perspective of the feminine role. The two works are interested
in redefining the mythological identities to incorporate the female
sex; however, each work attacks the process differently. Sexton's
"Consorting with Angels" first lines begins the persona's experience
with an admission of her dissatisfaction with her former role: "I was
tired of being a woman/ tired of the spoons and the pots/ tired of my
mouth and my breasts/ tired of the cosmetics and the silks" (lines
1-3). Throughout the developement of the poem, the persona choses to
deny the former sex of her self until she arrives sexless. The death
of the self is remarkably similar to the ongoing death cycle that the
persona in Plath's "Lady Lazarus" is accustomed to. Plath's persona
provokes a slightly more sympathetic response in her admission because
she presents herself as a victim from the holocaust in World War II.
"My right foot/ A paperweight,/ My face a featureless, fine/ Jew linen"
in the early lines of the poem already indicates a sort of
objectification. The persona that Plath has created her persona to
move several phases because "dying is an art" while the existence of
the persona that ! Sexton has created is more interested in "the
answer" to the gender of things. That the death of the self occurs in
"Consorting with Angels" is a considerable focus; however, it functions
with an air of positiveness that is not present within "Lady Lazarus"
"For complete summary and analysis of literary works, please visit