Friday, November 29, 2019

Second Coming Essays - Abbey Theatre, Anti-Catholicism In Ireland

Second Coming "Surely the Second coming is at hand;... when a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight:... A shape with a lion body and the head of a man, / A gaze blank And pitiless as the sun,"(2.9-15). Is the world actually coming to an end? Is this sphinx-like creature truly our inevitable savior? Or, is Yeats' life and things surrounding it coming to chaos? Is the war and restless spirit of Ireland influencing Yeats' work? On the other hand, is Yeats trying to help one to understand the frustrations of their own lives on a more personal level? The depth of Yeats's work, among many other great poets, is immeasurable. Many surrounding emotions, and intentions may go into this poem, along with various other subsidies the poet may not even be aware of. This is precisely why the literature department, or lack of, in many schools is weakening. Too many teachers, professors, and now students focus either solely on rhyme and meter or the "obvious" reason a poet might compose a poem, such as personal relationships, failures, earthly surroundings, or mental distress. The educators of students today need to be more open-minded on the interpretations one has for a particular poem. Literature has been a very strong Darr2 foundation for any prosperous civilization. For centuries poets will be immortalized in classes and books. However, as their words are remembered their spirit has been lost. When analyzing a great poet's work such as Yeats, the most obvious interpretation is usually not the correct one. Literature helps open minds to endless possibilities in every possible aspect. If students are taught to just accept explanations and are discouraged from questioning or even thinking for themselves, then the world will soon become full of conformed, mindless robots. Future leaders of the world must be taught to analyze everything. They must be taught to use their imaginations and logical thinking together. That is a most powerful combination in the hands of a determined student. The process must be in the root of this thinking. It must begin with literature. Throughout Yeats' life he has produced numerous controversial poems. Many people hold their own, very strong, opinions about poems. The truth is, there is not only one. Yeats had many different influences when writing "The Second Coming", and it is important for the reader to know each of them before they can even begin to understand the many meanings and interpretations of this poem. Yeats's poetry has three major influences. The more obvious one is the fact that Yeats was from Ireland, and at the time that this poem was written, World War II was affecting Ireland. However, WWII was not something knew to the Ireland's culture because for the past 300 years Ireland had been involved in many other wars and at the same time trying to gain their independence. Another influence on Yeats's writing was his personal religion, Gnosticism. According to Harold Bloom, Yeats believed Christianity to be "the barbarian theosophy," and declined to distinguish it form Gnosticism (1). Gnosticism Darr3 has to do with searching for self-knowledge and rejecting the society of their time. This seems to have been quite appropriate for Yeats and his writing. The third influence on Yeats's writing was the work of other philosophical writers such as Shelley, Blake, and Nietzsche. Yeats used some of the imagery and context of their previous works to help describe the meaning of "The Second Coming." When reading "The Second Coming" one's first impression might be of someone who felt as though they had no control of their life and therefore life was about to come to an end. That interpretation was not well thought out and very narrow-minded. The meaning is much more complex than that. "The Second Coming" is a very powerful piece of poetry, and one of the most universal admired poems of the 20th century. Attempting to understand William Butler Yeats's work is almost impossible unless you let one to become completely open-minded on every aspect of the poem. There are many different theories as to what the true meaning of "The Second Coming" really is. The fact of the matter is that Yeats purposefully has more than one interpretation of "The Second Coming." He wants the average person to open his or her creative mind and to analyze every influence, language, and imagery to understand the message he is trying to get across. When reading the opening lines of "The Second Coming" there are two meaning Yeats is trying to portray. In the opening figuration,

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