Art is like a mask, an outlet disguised in intricate words, images, or tones to channel and confront in manageable from the emotions that threaten complacent "normality." Sometimes the aftermath of an intense moment of beauty and rapture feels like death--the return to the abyss of the mundane level known as ordinary reality.
The following is an excerpt from A. Alvarez's 'The Savage God: she committed suicide. Alvarez seems to suggest that Plath in her art was channeling these types of energies. Perhaps (my theory) when she could no longer distance herself from the emotions she controlled through art, she was led to self-destruction.
From Alavarez's "The Savage God: "She [Plath] began to talk about the new drive to write that was upon her. . . . She made it sound like demonic possession. . . .She read fast, in a hard, slightly nasal accent, rapping it out as though she were angry. . . .I had a vague impression of something injurious and faintly obscene, but I don't think I understood much." Later in this section, Alvarez discusses the first time he heard Plath's poems "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus": "I was appalled. At first hearing, the things seemed to be not so much poetry as assult and battery." Alvarez goes on to suggest that for Plath, suicide attempts were a way of viewing death "as a physical challenge, she had once again, overcome. It was an experience of much the same qulity as riding Ariel or mastering a bolting horse--or careering down a dangerous snow slope without properly knowing how to ski. . .Suicide, in short, was not a swoon into death. . . it was something to be felt in the nerve-ends and fought against, an initiation rite qualifying her for a life of her own."