Yeats The Second Coming

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  • Created on: 14-05-13 17:18
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The Second Coming
1. `Turning and turning in the widening gyre'
a. Gyre
i. Geometrical shape
ii. Each gyre rotates towards a maximum expansion and
then a new gyre starts in the center of the previous
iii. Contextual info
1. Written at time of fundamental change
2. Contraction of English gyre (WW1)
3. Irish gyre starts to expand `widening gyre'
2. `The falcon cannot hear the falconer'
a. Idea of the falcon being in the center of the gyre
b. It cannot hear its owner
c. This idea that the bird of prey is not the victim
d. Terrifying change
i. Violent image like the violent image of war
e. In Among Schoolchildren
i. `Know the dancer from the dance'
1. Here the falcon and falconer cannot be reunited
emphasizing things are getting worse- at a peak
3. `Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world'
a. Idea of mere shows how anarchy is pure and undiluted
b. Evil realization that so many died for so little
4. `The blood dimmed tide is loosed'
a. Tide is in a constant state of flux, it is liable to change
b. Revelation 17:3-6
i. The beast will come as a precursor to the second
coming of Christ
ii. Stanza 1:
1. Suggests that the beast has come from WW1
2. It mirrors the book of revelation:
a. `And the second angle poured out his vial
upon the sea; and it became as the blood
of a dead man'

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The ceremony of innocence is drowned'
a. He believed innocence is fabrication born of religion and belief
b. Harsh reality of war has killed belief
6. `Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at
a. People at that time believed the beast had come, if it wasn't
the beast then it was something worse
7. `The best lack of conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate
a. Passion for any one cause can kill you
b.…read more

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That twenty centuries of stony sleep/ Were vexed to a
nightmare by a rocking cradle'
a. Yeats is likening Christianity ot the stone in the stream
i. Easter 19916 `the stone's in the midst of all'
b. Since the birth of Christ the world has been set in Christian
c. Now the innocent shelter sleep has been rendered a
nightmare by WW1
d. WW1 is the rocking cradle disrupting Christianity by causing
people to question their faith
11.…read more


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