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

William Butler Yeats Essay

834 words - 3 pages

William Butler Yeats

One of Ireland's finest writers, William Butler Yeats served a long apprenticeship in the arts before his genius was fully developed. He did some of his greatest work after he was fifty.

Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 13, 1865. His father was a lawyer-turned-Irish painter. In 1867 the family followed him to London and settled in Bedford Park. In 1881 they returned to Dublin, where Yeats studied the Metropolitan School of Art. Yeats spent much time with his grandparents in County Sligo in northwestern Ireland. The scenery and folklore of this region greatly influenced Yeats' work. For a while he studied art, but during the 1890s he became active in London's literary life and helped found the Rhymers' Club.

Yeats' early work was not especially Irish. Soon, however, he began to look to the ancient rituals and pagan beliefs of the land for his artistic inspiration. He tried to merge this interest with his aristocratic tastes to create an original Irish poetry and to establish his own identity.

In 1896 Yeats met Lady Gregory, an aristocrat and playwright who shared his interest in Ireland's past, especially in its folklore. In 1899 they formed a literary society that was the predecessor of the Abbey Theatre. Among his plays were 'The Countess Cathleen' (1892) and 'Cathleen ni Houlihan' (1902), with Maud Gonne in the title role. In 1899 he proposed to her, but she refused to marry him. As a means of getting closer to Maud, Yeats later proposed to her daughter, who also refused.

Yeats met Ezra Pound in 1912, and Pound became his fencing master and secretary during the winters of 1913 and 1914, and was a friend and confidante for the remainder of this life.

The suggestive, beautiful lyricism of Yeats’ early career (including such works as the famous ‘Sailing to Byzantium’) changed to the tune of spare and tragic bitterness as Ireland faced certain war in the early 1910s. This was apparent in Yeats poem 'September 1913' in which he stated: "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone." During the civil war Irish Free State soldiers burned many of Yeats' letters to Maud Gonne when they raided her house.

At the start of the war Yeats went to Oxford, but then returned to Dublin, becoming a Senator in the same year. A free Ireland was Maud Gonne’s passion, and Yeats' love for her sparked his interest in the country's political struggles. From 1922 until 1928 he was a senator in the Dail Eireann, or Irish...

Find Another Essay On William Butler Yeats

Sailing to Byzantium”: William Butler Yeats

1982 words - 8 pages The enigmatic man, who is William Butler Yeats, has a life full of intense emotion and feeling that causes his experiences to be quite radical to say the least. His early childhood, interest in occults, and many encounters with questionable women truly shaped his lifetime of poetry in many ways. As well his poem “Sailing to Byzantium” had many complex themes, a central theme of time, and gave interesting views on art and experience. There were

The Life of William Butler Yeats

1270 words - 6 pages William Butler Yeats is a famous Irish poet, yet as a student he did not do so well in his Math and English course. During his education, it was known that he did remarkably poor in mathematics and language as student. Is that surprising that a well-known poet, such as William, to be a poet if he did not do well in language? As being a famous poet for what he is known for now, one must expect that he would succeed well in just category. However

William Butler Yeats' The Second Coming

502 words - 2 pages William Butler Yeats' "The Second Coming" The poem “The Second Coming” was written by William Butler Yeats in 1919. Yeats was an accomplished Irish poet and was known for the socio-religious ideas he emphasized in his poetry. In “The Second Coming,” his ideas unfold in three significant metaphors. The first metaphor relates a falcon and its falconer to the destruction of society. The metaphor has two possible interpretations. One view may

"Easter 1916" by William Butler Yeats

2311 words - 9 pages generation of Irish people was looking for an identity, and a new generation of artists was catering to them. They were embracing Irish culture and questioning the English presence on their island. Out of this cultural revival rose an unlikely hero. There rose a man, who, out of his own personal ambitions, became an inspiration to an entire people. William Butler Yeats became known as one of the greatest poet's in Irish history, and his writings

The Second Coming By William Butler Yeats

640 words - 3 pages The Second Coming, written by William Butler Yeats, could only be interpreted in one way. First you must take into consideration, the state of Yeats' motherland at the time when this was written. Ireland was in the state of civil war and the idea of The Second Coming of Christ was a desperate cry in the form of a poem. The New Testament illustrates The Second Coming as a period of tribulation. Yeats wished that The Second Coming would purify the

William Butler Yeats' The Cap and Bells

2500 words - 10 pages William Butler Yeats' The Cap and Bells William Butler Yeats’s ballad “The Cap and Bells” depicts the behavior of love through an allegorical account of actions between a jester and a queen. Through the use of many symbolic references, the dramatic characters accurately reflect a lover’s conduct. Referring to jester-like men throughout many of his works (“A Coat”, “The Fool by the Roadside”, “Two Songs of a Fool”, “The Hour Glass”, etc

An Analysis of William Butler Yeats

1226 words - 5 pages Change is Changelessness “An Analysis of William Butler Yeats” Life is full of change, it is the natural order of things, without change life would be at a standstill, without cause, just an empty world. Change is how new ideas arise, how things become better or worse, without it we wouldn’t be here on this earth. In opposition, there is also a world of changelessness, it is the only thing that remains constant in our lives, there is always

"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

1171 words - 5 pages William Butler Yeats wrote his "The Second Coming" in January of 1919, three years after the Easter Rebellion of 1916 and after the First World War had ravaged Europe from 1914 until 1918. Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart, his first novel, in 1958, just two years prior to the establishment of an independent Nigerian state. These two seemingly unrelated pieces of literature are actually more related to each other than just the title.All of

"Leda and the Swan" by William Butler Yeats

1430 words - 6 pages also unveiled the context of his homeland through the period of 1922-1923 during the time of the Irish civil war, a time of aggression and uncertainty, despite the irony of the poem written in the form of a typical love sonnet. These ideas were further enhanced through the use of a large variety of poetic techniques.Born in Dublin in 1865, William Butler Yeats spent much of his time moving from London the countryside of County Sligo, Ireland, where

Among The School Children by William Butler Yeats

1445 words - 6 pages Among School Children by William Butler Yeats First Published 1927; collected in The Tower, 1928 Type of Poem Meditation The Poem William Butler Yeats' "'Among School Children'' is written in eight eight-line stanzas that follow a precise rhyme scheme. Along with the straightforward title, stanza I establishes the immediate context of the action in deliberately prosaic language. The speaker is visiting a schoolroom, and "'a kind old

Exploring William Butler Yeats' The Shadowy Water and Adam's Curse

4245 words - 17 pages "What is madness but a translation out of essence but into the abysses of the exterior interior?" - Antonin Artaud In his 1901 essay entitled "Magic", the Irish poet William Butler Yeats formulated a conception of aesthetic work directly rooted in the ancient labors of the magician and the priest. His fundamental beliefs, beliefs which would shape the entirety of his life and literary career, can be summarized in the following points

Similar Essays

William Butler Yeats Essay

984 words - 4 pages The enigmatic man, who is William Butler Yeats, has a life of intense emotion and feeling that causes his experiences to be quite radical to say the least. His early childhood, interest in occults, and many encounters with questionable women truly shaped his poetry in many ways. These three main aspects of William Butler Yeats’ life show that this prolific writer genuinely was a spiritualist poet through and through. The life of William Butler

William Butler Yeats: Modernism Essay

1680 words - 7 pages William Butler Yeats: Modernism William Butler Yeats is an Irish poet from the nineteenth century. William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1865. He was educated in both Dublin and London, and he wrote his first verse in 1877 (nobelprize.org). He wrote many poems during his lifetime, and is thought to be the most influential poet of his era. He was very influential in the Modernism era. William Butler Yeats was one of the most

William Butler Yeats Essay

2841 words - 11 pages William Butler Yeats. William Butler Yeats was the major figure in the cultural revolution which developed from the strong nationalistic movement at the end of the 19th century. He dominated the writings of a generation. He established forms and themes which came to be considered as the norms for writers of his generation. Yeats was a confessional poet - that is to say, that he wrote his poetry directly from his own experiences. He was an

William Butler Yeats' Adam's Curse Essay

1502 words - 6 pages William Butler Yeats' "Adam's Curse" The poem "Adam's Curse" (William Butler Yeats, reprinted in Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair. The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, 2nd ed. [W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1988] 147-148) carries the theme of a curse throughout the poem, and ties it in with experiences in the text. "Adam's Curse" can make connections with three situations that are central to the poem, and they are the following