What is the interplay between life and death in the poem "Lady Lazarus"?

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The title of the poem alludes to the biblical figure of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus. Thus, the title immediately suggests a blurred distinction between life and death.

The poem itself is about the repeated suicide attempts of the eponymous “Lady Lazarus .” She has...

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The title of the poem alludes to the biblical figure of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by Jesus. Thus, the title immediately suggests a blurred distinction between life and death.

The poem itself is about the repeated suicide attempts of the eponymous “Lady Lazarus.” She has attempted three times to kill herself, and the poem implies that she has been successful each time. After each death, however, she is, like her famous husband, resurrected to die all over again. Thus, the boundary between life and death is, for her, blurred and indefinite. She says that, “like the cat (she has) nine times to die.” She also speaks of the process of dying as an art which she does “exceptionally well.” The speaker seems to treat life as an exercise in dying, and death as an escape from life which she has, as of yet, been unable to fully achieve.

In summary, the speaker believes that death is a release from life, and that life is an exercise in dying. She crosses between death and life so often that one bleeds into the other.

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