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William Butler Yeats' second coming poetry depicts a theme centered on the connection between politics and the arts. William Yeats, a poet, argues that the British government's intervention in the Irish political system resulted in bad politics, which in turn produced a power play that enabled Britain to influence the Irish government. As an Irishman, Yeats was persuaded that harsh government had a negative effect on their social life, which contributed to the creation of the poem, which resembles a political manifesto. The relationship between arts and politics in this context is demonstrated where Yeats intends to use a poem to enlighten people about the political diversity and the consequences that befall them.
To bring out this theme the author uses the symbolism of “The Second Coming” which represents the Christian belief in the second coming of Christ. This will be the moment of personal absolution. Yeats begins the poem by stating that “some revelation is at hand,” and symbolizes this with a description of a horrific figure meant to show how people are prone to embrace everything that has the potential of being concealed or disguised as hope regardless of the fact that it might be showing the exact opposite. Yeats gives this symbolism great significance by bringing up dictators like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco. This figure, as symbolized in the poem by phrases like “towards Bethlehem, waiting to be born,” does not bring out the image of triumphant vision. Instead of this, it brings out terror which strikes at the core of what people are and what they believe. The author’s ultimate act of symbolism help in bringing out the idea that individuals are waiting for something that would not save them but one that would terrify them.
Yeats work shows his commitment to mysticism that leads to the development of a unique philosophical and spiritual system that emphasizes the significance of historical determination and fate or the belief that actions have been preordained. The author is of the opinion that history was a creation of fate and the latter reveals its plan in situations where humans and divine forces interact. Inevitably, Yeats uses a tonne of historically determined inevitability especially in his description of conditions of divine and human interactions. The divine is represented in various forms in the poem sometimes in the abstract sense or literally.
The poet has described how the politics in the country had negative impacts on the peoples’ lives by influencing the development of various philosophical and spiritual systems which are depicted in the poem as the mystery that would prevail. While using the religious context, Yeats uses complex images of spirituality like the great beast which symbolizes a violent animal within the Christianity belief where the beast represents evils and oppressions that will befall the people once the antichrist takes control of the world during the doomsday. Yeats demonstrates apocalyptic events that are about to happen in which the imagery of blood-dimmed tide and ceremony of the innocent is drowned are used to illustrate the expected political system changes in Ireland. These representations describe how the country is heading to a stage of great destruction due to injustices that befell the people following the rise of the European culture in the land.
The poet is trying to enlighten and call into action the people by predicting the occurrences that the harsh political era is slowly implementing as illustrated in the poem with the use of terms such as “Hardly are those words out.”. The imagery on the arrival of the second coming outlines the prediction of a dangerous “animal” that will tear apart the peace of the world which in this case the animal can include a political power that seeks dominance in the world politics. Yeats demonstrates the terrifying aspect of destruction by rendering a prediction of the massive image of a monster that signifies sufferings that will be encountered in the modern world. The second coming covers the overall view of the Irish culture referring to what is to come after changes in the present. The poem exerts the sense of cultural crisis that paves the way for conflicts and suffering.
The philosophical representation has its stake in the poem as Yeats demonstrates how the Falcon does not hear the Falconer. The picture shows how the will of the people have been neglected by the institutions that were put in place by those in power and to a large extent by the foreign political influences that implemented political systems that are governed by the minority to represent the views of the silenced majority. The poet recognizes that things have fallen apart having experienced disruption of law and order in Irelan which led to the start of the war in his country. Additionally, Yeats demonstrates the image of interlocking gyres that describes patterns that engulf the cycle of civilization. The poet tries to inform the world about the past age and the evolution. The poem reveals how things from the history are gradually evolving and negatively affecting the modern world. The interlocking gyre implies the borrowed practices that interlock each other negatively and their evolvement in the modern world will have more harsh implications depending on the intensity of the effects. The poet assures the world that revelation is at hand and there is no way to evade that. The political greed that is dominating the world and this heads the world in a very critical situation that will see the world torn apart.
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