An Irish Airman Foresees his Death

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An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

·         An elegy

·         ABAB rhyme scheme – alternating rhymes

·         Prolific use of personal pronouns – emphasises the personal nature of loss

·         Iambic tetrameter

·         Nationalism/Irish concerns

o   Those that I guard I do not love- He was fighting for Britain, who had oppressed the Irish for centuries.

o   Those that I fight I do not hate- in fact, they are fighting his oppressors- enemies of the enemy=friends?

o   My country is Kiltartan Cross / My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor – identifies this ‘hero’ with Western Ireland again (district in Galway). Synecdoche- the use of a specific locality to represent the whole of an ideal Ireland. Link to Connemara in ‘The Fisherman’ and Sleuth Wood in ‘The Stolen Child’.

o   No likely end could bring them [his countrymen] loss / Nor leave them happier than before – conveys sense of futility regarding the Irish situation. Should the British win, ireand will remain under their oppression, should the Germans win it will simply mean a change in oppressor.

o   The years to come seemed waste of breath / a waste of breathe the years behind – the futility of the nationalist cause / politics? Compares to the lonely impulse


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