The Stolen Child

The Stolen Child

·         A metaphor for the return to innocence, which is characterised by childhood

·         Yeats desired to write poetry of ‘longing and complaint’ – not  story of being taken from the ‘real’ world but escape to faeryland

·         The dichotomy (contrast) of a ‘fantasy’ world and the world of reality

o   Represents dissatisfaction with the real world

o   Nationalism/Irish concerns – link to ‘The Fisherman’/’September 1913’ – dissatisfaction with contemporary Ireland and the values of the people in comparison to the ideals and values of the Romantic nationalists and the nationalist heroes

o   ‘wandering water gushes’ – images of freedom of the faeryland/Ireland?

o   ‘scarce’, star’, ‘seek’, ‘slumbering’ – sibilance conveys dreamlike/ethereal quality

o  the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand’, ‘To and fro we leap / And chase the frothy bubbles, While the world is full of troubles / And is anxious in its sleep’ – contrast between the real world and the faeryland

o   The change in the final refrain makes it almost accusatory, 2nd person used to emphasise innocence/obliviousness of the child. ‘a world more full of weeping than he can understand.’

·         The comparison of natural/romantic Ireland and the faeryland

o   Not quite sure which he is talking about at points

o   ‘Where dips the rocky highland / Of Sleuth Wood in the lake’, ‘leafy


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all W B Yeats resources »