Essay, 2 pages (400 words)

The minotaur

The Minotaur??? The Minotaur??? is a Ted Hughes poem which was included in his collection ??? Birthdays Letters??? released in 1998. ??? The Minotaur??? explores the conflict in a domestic setting between him and Plath; the inner conflict of Sylvia Plath, and provides hypothetical possibilities if she had done as Hughes suggests. He does this through using archetypal symbols. Hughes opens the poem by describing one of these fights which took place in their flat in London. He refers to an incident when he was late to come home and Plath became extremely angry and became violent, leaving the place in a total wreck.

She destroyed the mahogany table top inherited from Hughes??™s mother by hammering at its surface with the high stool. Strong verbs are used ??“ smashed, mapped, and demented was shown to be his reflection of her behaviour. Hughes demeans the severity of his lateness by saying ??™twenty minutes late??™, stating the exact time, showing he felt that it wasn??™t much to create drama over. Plath however, disagrees to this point as found in her journal saying ??? All my life I have been stood up emotionally by the people I loved most??¦ so the smallest incidents of lateness is an indication that I am not important to them.??? Hughes implies that Plath would have been better off channelling all her energy and emotion into her poems rather than taking it out on him.

The use of a metaphorical ??? Goblin inside your head??? showed Hughes claiming that she was almost possessed by a force leaving her uncontrollable. He speaks directly to Plath by reflecting via personal anguish and pain, which was part of her fractured psyche; saying that it not only left him harmed, but it traumatised the children as well. ??? The children are left deserted, echoing like tunnels in a labyrinth. This image evokes abandonment and eternal suffering. Hughes uses archetypal symbols; the quest, the resurrection, the monster, and the labyrinth. The quest is the journey on how they should have moved forward in the relationship; the resurrection is Hughes claiming that Plath metaphorically resurrected her father, and let it not only haunt her, but control her; The monster was the metaphorical Minotaur in Hughes??™ life and Plath??™s father was the one in hers; and the labyrinth is the maze that Hughes thinks that Plath was trapped in and couldn??™t find the ??? skein??™ to help her escape her torturous entrapment.

Hughes??™ understanding of the situation is that Plath is dragged deeper into her own realm of inevitable self destruction which gives the poem a depressing ending.

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