Hsc English - Module B - Yeats' Poems Essays

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Yeats Conflict Essay

Conflict is the basis of all human interaction and hence is an integral part of human life. Through ambiguous yet comprehensive treatment of conflict W. B. Yeats has ensured that his works stand the test of time and hence have remained ‘classics’ today. Through my critical study I have recognised that Yeats’ poems Easter 1916 and The Second Coming are no exception. Yeats’ poetic form, language and use of poetic techniques; such as juxtaposition, allusion, and extended metaphors, alert audiences to both the inner and physical conflict that are the foundations of both poems. It is through this treatment of conflict that supplies audiences with the ability to individualise the reading and hence engage a broad range of
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This evocative language creates the dismal and harsh tone, alerting the audience to the poet unhappiness. However the tone soon changes in lines 9-11 where Yeats’ enters a ‘new’ gyre as the “second coming is at hand”, switching a more hopeful but trepid view of the future and what is to come. The end of the third stanza presents the final tone shift as Yeats states “but now I know” and ending with the rhetorical question of what is to be born Yeats’ seams resigned to the future of which he now understands. However the use of the rhetorical question introduces conflict in the readers mind as they themselves are prompted to deliberate the future, creating a more responsive audience. Each shift in tone produces a new conflicting idea or belief that Yeats deliberates, digging up his trepidations and abhorrence concerning life and social change, but also recognizes eagerness that can arise from the hope of a bettered institution. Once again, it is this exploration of inner turmoil that enraptures numerous audiences, despite their exclusive settings, allowing Yeats’ work to permeate throughout time. Through my close study of Yeats’ poems I have come to an understanding that conflict, particularly inner conflict, is a significant component of the human condition and hence, its treatment in literary works allows audience throughout the ages to relate and engage with such works to a far greater extent. Throughout both Easter

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