Lecture 5 - William Butler Yeats (cont.)

author: Langdon Hammer, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: July 1, 2010,   recorded: January 2007,   views: 791
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

Yeats's middle period is explored, beginning with the middle-aged Yeats's assumption of the role of spokesman for Irish nationalism and the development of his complicated response to nationalist violence. The aestheticization of violence is considered in the poem "Easter, 1916" and briefly in "The Statues." Yeats's conception of the relationship of violence to history, with particular emphasis on the frightening interaction among the divine, the human, and the bestial, is demonstrated in the visionary poems "The Second Coming" and "The Magi," and finally in "Leda and the Swan."

Reading assignment:

William Butler Yeats: "Easter 1916," "The Wild Swans at Coole," "The Second Coming," "A Prayer for My Daughter," "To Be Carved on a Stone," "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen," "Leda and the Swan," "Among School Children," "In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz," "Two Songs from a Play"

Resources

Section Activity: W.B. Yeats [PDF]
Meter Exercise: Robert Frost [PDF]
Metrical Variation: The Example of Iambic Pentameter [PDF]

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