Abstract

The human body plays an elemental role in the process of self-definition and in the determination of codes of behavior governing the relationships between men and women. Replete with images of the body, the poetry of Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke and Sylvia Plath demonstrates how central is a woman's conception of her body to her sense of who she M and who she can be. The fictive female personae that these two poets construct as speakers of their poems are both internalizations and critical expressions of traditional notions of gender and sexuality. Close readings of four poems, «Ο θρίαμβος της σταθερής απώλειας» and «Παραβίαση» by Anghelaki-Rooke, and "Edge" and "Lady Lazarus" by Plath, reveal that in grappling with the question of a woman's role and place in male-dominated society, Anghelaki-Rooke turns to the human body as the source of potential liberation from oppression, whereas Plath envisions empowerment through transcendence of the body.

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