Plot: In 1956, aspiring American poet Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) meets fellow poet Edward James "Ted" Hughes (Daniel Craig) at Cambridge, where she is studying. Enthralled with the genius of his writing, Sylvia falls in love with him even before meeting him, and he quickly falls in love with her. They eventually marry. Sylvia quickly learns that others are also enthralled with her husband, for a combination of his good looks, charisma, fame, and success. Sylvia lives in her husband's professional shadow as she tries to eke out her own writing career, which doesn't come as naturally to her as it does to Ted. She also suspects him of chronic infidelity. Both issues affect Sylvia's already fragile emotional state, she, who once tried to commit suicide earlier in her life. Through her pain and her anger, she does gain minor success as a writer, with a completed semi-autobiographical novel and a few well received collection of poems. Following, she tries to regain some happiness in her life with Ted, but has an alternate plan if that does not work out as she wants.
Alternative Plot: Young Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) dreams of becoming an important writer. Her childhood is scarred by the unexpected loss of her father, and by the time she enrolls in college Sylvia has become emotionally fragile, suffering from depression. In 1955, she travels to Cambridge, England, to study literature, and falls in love with well-known poet Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig). As she struggles to balance a rocky marriage and growing literary success, Sylvia becomes increasingly obsessed with death.