Pan/Pun: Doubletake and Double Exposure in “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath

Main Article Content

Christopher Nield


My essay examines the many faces of Pan in Sylvia Plath’s poetry and prose. I begin with an apparently simple question: why is the phrase “panzer-man” repeated in “Daddy”? I argue that this repetition asks us to look twice at the phrase – and to see that, in conjunction with the line, “a cleft in your chin instead of your foot,” Plath offers the reader a pun on the ancient Greek god Pan. I identify this as the Pan/pun: a ludic principle that elucidates key literary strategies in Ariel, specifically panic as an expression of the Romantic sublime and the use of satire to construct a drama of fertility versus sterility.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Visions of Sylvia