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Crazy Jane Talks With The Bishop By W.B. Yeats: Themes And Symbolism

738 words - 3 pages

Essay - Yeats
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop: Themes and Symbolism
W.B. Yeats had a very interesting personal life. He chased after Maud Gonne, only to be rejected four times. Then, when she was widowed, he proposed to her only out of a sense of duty, and was rejected again. He then proposed to her daughter, who was less than half his age. She also rejected his proposal. Soon after, he proposed to Georgie Hyde Lees, another girl half his age. She accepted, and they had a successful marriage, apart from some indiscretions on his part. His personal history seems relevant when discussing a poem that praises sex and sin as essential to our spiritual fulfillment. In “Crazy Jane Talks with ...view middle of the document...

Both Jane and the Bishop reference mansions in their statements. The Bishop condemns Jane’s sinful behavior and urges her to “Live in a heavenly mansion” (5). This mansion that the Bishop speaks of could be a church. He thinks she should prepare to die soon, and to try and secure her place in heaven by spending the rest of her days in celibacy and prayer. The mansion that the Bishop speaks of symbolizes goodness and piety. Jane also references a mansion but in a drastically different way. She says, “But Love has pitched his mansion in / The place of excrement;” (15-16). For her, feeling love and expressing love is more important than the quest for God’s approval. She believes that love is not some romantic and idealized emotion. She thinks that love is messy, sinful, and equally as important as spirituality. This mansion of hers is a symbol of the impossibility of good without evil. You cannot reach the mansion of love without walking through the excrement she speaks of.
Jane also uses double entendres to...

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