This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Easter 1916 Essay

2118 words - 8 pages

"Easter 1916"

The 1916 Easter Rebellion spoke to the heart of Irish nationalism and emerged to dominate nationalist accounts of the origin and evolution of the Irish State. The decision by a hand- full of Irish patriots to strike a blow for Irish independence mesmerized the Irish people in its violent intensity and splendor.

According to Richard Kearney, author of Myth and Terror, suddenly everything was dated 'Before or after Easter Week'. The subsequent executions of the sixteen rebel leaders by the British authorities marked an incredible transformation from Irish patriots to their martyrdom, which came to represent the high-water mark of redemptive violence, a glorious beginning and a bloody ending. The initial reaction in Ireland to the Rising was shock and anger.

Following the executions, the nationalist community closed ranks against the British government. The most famous reaction to the Rising is the poem "Easter 1916" by the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. In one respect, the poem is a product of its time and reflects the emotional impact of Easter Week. But, the power of Yeats's language and imagery transcends the event, and asks the question of all generations, "O when may it suffice?"

In 1916, the political climate in Ireland was dangerously volatile, but few Irish citizens realized they were at the edge of an abyss. Most nationalists, William Butler Yeats included, were content with a promise by the British government to grant Ireland moderate independence, in the form of Home Rule, at the close of World War I.

The Unionist population vowed to resist Home Rule and began organizing a heavily armed private militia. The Irish Diaspora and many Irish nationalists had little faith in the British government's willingness to install Home Rule and stand up to the unionists.

Preoccupied by the Great War and desperate for able bodies, the British government made its' fatal decision to enforce conscription in Ireland. Outcries by Irish republicans that Britain bore no right to 'Irish fodder' for their war canons, helped pave the way for an uprising. Rebel leaders from the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish Nationalist Volunteer Army, and James Connolly's Citizens Army decided the time was ripe for a rebellion and adopted a familiar concept in Irish history, 'England's trouble is Ireland's opportunity.'

Like their predecessors in the rebellions of 1848 and 1867, the sixteen rebel leaders in the 1916 Rising emerged from the intellectual and literary community, including promising writers and poets. Men like Pearse and MacDonagh were products of the Irish Literary Revival, spearheaded by Yeats, during the " Golden Age" in Ireland. They exemplified the Irish mythological tradition to sacrifice in the name of dead generations, and to pick up where the Young Irelanders left off.

Pearse and many of his comrades never entertained any hope of surviving the Rising, or of defeating the British....

Find Another Essay On Easter 1916

Poetry explication on Easter 1916 by Yates

996 words - 4 pages The RebellionGreat poets undeniably have an ability to seize upon particular incidents and use them to explore and illuminate the human condition. In William Butler Yeats Poem, "Easter, 1916" he does just that. This poem commemorates the Easter Rising of 1916, in which a group of Irish insurgents captured the General Post Office in Dublin and held out for several days before surrendering. It also represents the constant turmoil present in

"Easter 1916" by William Butler Yeats

2311 words - 9 pages inspired a nation revolution. One of his poems in particular, "Easter 1916," was used to embrace the Irish cause. There was, however, a delicate intricacy to "Easter 1916" that evaded most of its readers at the time. Although "Easter 1916" was seen as a decidedly nationalistic poem, it hid undertones that questioned the very roots of the nationalist cause.Yeats the ManTo understand his work, one must first understand Yeats himself. Over his life

The Irish Easter Rising of 1916

1129 words - 5 pages involved in the 1916 Easter Rising hoped to end Britain's oppression of Ireland. The groups were the violent and radical Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish Volunteers, led by Eoin MacNeill, and the Irish Citizen Army, led by socialist James Connolly. The motive of the Irish Republican Brotherhood was to incite a violent national rising against Britain, which was distracted by the war effort. They wanted to make martyrs of some rebels, to gain

The Easter Rising of 1916: An Annotated Bibliography

1746 words - 7 pages Secondary #2 My second best secondary source was Ireland’s 1916 Rising by Mark McCarthy. The book focuses most of its 500 pages on the celebrations commemorating the Easter Rising, but the first portion of the book focuses on the original Easter Rising and the events. The book includes sections discussing the British laws leading to the rising and the aftermath of the rising that eventually led to the successful Irish rebellion. There are also

Michael Joseph O’Rahilly and the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland

1762 words - 7 pages The role of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly (also known as “The O’Rahilly”) in the Easter Rising of 1916, is not much talked about, and this, in my opinion, makes it all the more fascinating. Many would feel, that he has, in a sense, been ‘written out of history’. O’Rahilly was a man who believed that the Irish people could not achieve independence of the British without confrontation in an armed struggle. It was for this reason that he joined played

Review and Analysis of "The Rising: Ireland – Easter 1916" by Fearghal McGarry

929 words - 4 pages Review and Analysis of The Rising: Ireland - Easter 1916Fearghal McGarry begins his new book The Rising - Easter 1916 by recapping the story of what essentially began the rebellion; thirty members of the Irish Citizens Army armed to the teeth walk right up to Dublin Castle and shoot an unarmed police officer in the head at point blank range. They continue into the castle, which despite being "the heart of British establishment in Ireland" was

Symbolism in Yeat's 'The Wild Swan at Coole’ and ‘Easter 1916'

598 words - 2 pages Writers are judged if they’re deemed to be worthy enough in become part of the canon, in the early 20th century, William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet, was deemed worthy enough as he speaks to us across time, culture and political beliefs through his poem which contains timeless truths which are valued by human beings Two of Yeats’s poem ‘The Wild Swan at Coole’ and ‘Easter 1916’ which I’m going to refer as ‘Wild Swan’ and ‘Easter’ both poem

among school children

549 words - 2 pages of WB Yeats, Easter '1916', is specifically a response to a political event in Ireland. Easter '1916' referred to the 1916 Easter Rebellion of the Irish nationalists against the British colonists. Yeats captures the essence of the passionate nationalists:From cloud to tumbling cloud,Minute by minute changeYet in the first two stanzas of Easter, 1916 one can detect some confusion on the part of poet as he relates chance meetings before the uprising

yeats

549 words - 2 pages of WB Yeats, Easter '1916', is specifically a response to a political event in Ireland. Easter '1916' referred to the 1916 Easter Rebellion of the Irish nationalists against the British colonists. Yeats captures the essence of the passionate nationalists:From cloud to tumbling cloud,Minute by minute changeYet in the first two stanzas of Easter, 1916 one can detect some confusion on the part of poet as he relates chance meetings before the uprising

History Of Easter Rebellion

994 words - 4 pages their children for education without forfeiture of their property and citizenship (MacManus, 459). These actions by the British government angered the Irish, and the new wave of rebellion had begun again with the British government fighting back.Strong feelings came to a peak on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916 in the Irish capital of Dublin when approximately 1500 men, led by the Irish, seized the post office and other strategic points ("The

William Butler Yeats: Discuss with reference to at least three poems, Yeats' treatment of Irish Concerns

1622 words - 6 pages Yeats changes his treatment of Irish concerns throughout his life and these changes are reflected in his poetry. Three poems that reflect these changes are 'September 1913', 'Easter 1916' and 'Under Ben Bulben'. These poems show a transpositions in political thought. In 'September 1913' Yeats shows his aversion to democracy and capitalism, and expresses his belief in an aristocratic society preferably governed by elite Protestants, as they had

Similar Essays

Yeats' "Easter 1916" Essay

1116 words - 4 pages William Butler Yeats' "Easter 1916" is strong but not convincing to me. He is too harsh towards his county fellows. Doubtlessly, violence is awful. But before chide the Irish nationalists for using violence, one should put himself in their shoes and try to understand why they act so desperately. In the following I am going to examine the lines in Yeats' "Easter 1916" and see whether he does so, meanwhile I will compare it a bit with Seamus

The Easter Rising Of 1916 Essay

1574 words - 7 pages Irish citizens took upon themselves the responsibility of overthrowing the British Government in Ireland during the “Easter Rising of 1916”, which was the result of centuries of rights violations against the Irish by the British. Oppression of the Irish began in A.D. 1367 with the Statute of Kilkenny, which restricted the traditions of the Irish and placed them under the authority of the English in Ireland. (Hardiman) Oppression of the Irish

The Irish Easter Rebellion 1916 Essay

2279 words - 9 pages The 1916 Irish Easter Uprising Ever since the occupation of Ireland by the English began in 1169, Irish patriots have fought back against British rule, and the many Irish rebellions and civil wars had always been defeated. To quash further rebellion, the Act of Union was imposed in 1800, tying Ireland to the United Kingdom of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Laws discriminating against Catholics and the handling of the Irish Potato Famine

The Easter Rising Of 1916 Essay

2314 words - 9 pages The Easter Rising of 1916 The Easter Rising of 1916 had profound and far-reaching effects on Ireland's subsequent history. It has been referred to as 'The Irish War for Independence' and was the pivotal event in ultimately securing independence for the Republic of Ireland. For centuries, Ireland had been under English rule, the English