Eventually, this paper provides a conclusion, wherein its argumentation is summarized. So, during the early twentieth century, Europe was confronted with the horrors of war. However, especially the Irish civilization could hardly recover from all the overwhelming experiences, as the turmoil in Ireland put on hold during World War I:.
Chaotic Minds, Chaotic Societies: “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats
In , Ireland signed the Government of Ireland Act, which decided over its separation. William Butler Yeats himself had a personal interest in the future of Ireland. He was not only member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which built the armed branch of the Irish Volunteers that were eventually engaged in Civil War, he was also named senator of the Free Irish State in He was still compelled […] to define this new nation. Additionally, like much of his poetry of the early s, it also considers the nature of foundational violence:. While poetically considering violent acts of foundation, and thus mirroring the changes and transformations in the wider political sphere, Yeats was aware of the problems of stagnation when that violent impetus was no longer required Hand Howes, Kelly It focuses on the increasingly turbulent events in Ireland in the context of historical cycles, but also reaches over to resonate with personal concerns.
In consequence to that, during this period in which Ireland - and actually the whole world - underwent such profound changes, Yeats also experienced profound changes in his own life. In , he married Georgie Hyde-Less, even if he was fatally attracted to Maude Gonne since many years - something that basically never changed.
Yeatsian works of this period give evidence of his converging interest in literature, nationalism and philosophy and his return to myth, whereby he was not any longer focused on Celtic mysticism but on the myths of Christianity and pagan Egypt. He believed politics and religion to be part of the same enterprise, and inevitably foresaw crucial shifts in cultural and class politics as well as in the relationship of Ireland to England to Europe.
Tumbled with the experiences of the violence of war, he developed his own ideas for the contemporary world political situation, and also had his own mystical view of the history and the future end of the world. Consequently, William Butler Yeats began to create the philosophy of gyres, which became prevalent images in his poetry. This comprehension of history is rooted in the history of the Greco-Roman Empire. After enjoying a life span of years, the Greco-Roman civilization collapsed until Christ came and a new civilization was born out of the ashes of the earlier civilization.
As the present cycle of history began two thousand years ago with the birth of Christ, likewise, the Christian civilization has nearly run its course of two thousand years. Mann Further, it is with his iconic, prophetic, even apocalyptic imagery and thinking the most vivid record of such prophetic insights William Butler Yeats is known for.
William Butler Yeats' "The Second Coming."
Its rhyme scheme is blank verse. Moreover, the poem lives on a rough, loose and irregular iambic pentameter. Consequently, each part of the poem describes another spiritual state of the poet. Among the Just are Abraham, Moses, Adam and Eve, and on the left with the wicked, Blake includes figures such as Cain, those who died in the flood, and other assorted sinners. Blake wants to convey to readers that though his vision of god is that he is a loving creator, he still must set a distinct line between those who live in sin and those who seek forgiveness.
The epitome of sin — the devil — is not cast out because god is unforgiving and is vengeful, but because he does not want to be forgiven. This eternal individuality and image can be seen as a mirror to the Christian version of a soul. Blake and Yeats are a product of their environments and literary movements. Their poetry reflects the common idea of the beliefs within their culture because of their time periods and the mindsets of their audiences.
They lived in two time periods with vastly different ideals on religion, spirituality, and the end of the world.
Blake and Yeats Vision of the Apocalypse
Many writers wrote in a backlash against WWI and the cruelties that came with it. Along with this decline in power, money, and economy, Britain began a new literary movement called Modernism. Some values of this movement include faithlessness, skepticism, confused sense of identity, loss of social value meaning, pessimism, alienation, and despair Kuiper. Blake, although not under an established religion, is spiritual.
He grew up Christian and was even baptized on 11 December Wilson, 2. Although Blake and Yeats both wrote on the same subject, their interpretations are completely different.
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Blake writes of love of Jesus as the judge and the salvation of those who are worthy as well as the condemnation of those who are wicked , while Yeats takes the stance of no salvation, with the second coming of an unknown entity. The pessimistic and fear-written nature of the literary movement of Modernism compared with the optimistic and spiritual nature of the Romanticism movement helps explain the different viewpoints of both authors.
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