With the mention of the broken wall and the turning point of history, the stanza is also broken in the middle of the third line. This poem is in a sonnet form; usually a love poem. The violent rape by an oppressive Zeus over a helpless mortal speaks for itself when understood in these thematic terms, but the poet was so rigid in his application of symbolic meaning and the necessity to come equipped with prior knowledge of mythological and historical associations allusions that it can be very easy to completely miss how this political theme can be applied. Helen of Troy caused the end of Greek mythology; the great battle to try and win her. Zeus took the form of a swan and raped Leda; who bore four children afterwards. Zeus's name in fact appears neither in the title nor the text of the poem; the reader is expected to understand that the swan is an incarnation of the all-powerful god.
The richness of the symbols, especially as they function organically within Yeats's overall poetic context, is astounding. The event proved a fateful one as it set in motion a whole chain of events. It's all quite complicated but what the poem is trying to say is that the consequences of one act can have devastating repercussions. But the sonnet does not borrow its power from the significance of the theme. This line could also suggest that this swan is larger than average size, this depicts the image of godly power because Zeus is a more. The speaker asks her whether she accessed his knowledge as well as his power before he let her drop. The poet says that the naked bathing girl was unable to save herself from the mating by Jupiter in the form of swan.
The distance is thus made manifest between divinity and humanity while the longstanding acceptance of division creating a twain which shall not be crossed except in unusual and specific circumstances no longer applies. Alliteration is strong in the fourth line: He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. The problem posed in this poem is whether opposites ever coincide. So the reader can have no doubts after this first quatrain. Our mission is to present art history stories in the most compelling and fun way. Each half contains two sentences, each a complete stanza.
The poems relate the tales of two points in time that Yeats feels to be important turning points in history, epicenters of calamity and destruction, as the…. This line could also suggest that this swan is. He spent his childhood in County Sligo, where his parents were raised, and in London. I actually agree with you, although I understand why our writer has interpreted it the way they have. Clearly, things are not what they might initially seem to be in nature, as in this case the seemingly mighty male is abruptly destroyed by his sexual victim.
That Helen was part goddess helps to explain how her beauty brought about the destruction of two civilizations. Or did she gain his knowledge and power as a natural consequence of the seduction? GradeSaver, 21 January 2008 Web. Leda and the Swan is an interpretation of the Greek myth wherein Zeus, in the One could go further and argue that the intentional eroticism of something so violent is somewhat sinister - after all, a caress is supposed to be an act of affection and love, and is not normally associated with something spiteful and violent. His webbed feet caress her thighs, and he catches her in the nape of his neck. It is beyond anyone's control. In the poem, Yeats assumes that the reader is familiar with the myth referred to in the title. After the description and meditation about the rape in the octave, the poet makes a claim that the conception was the seed of destruction and not of knowledge and wisdom.
Zeus wanting to finish and Leda watching this nightmare unfold. Her fingers of the hands were delicate and weak, and she was terrified enough, so she found herself unable to push off the big white bird with lots of feathers. The use of that simple, powerful phrase not a complete sentence and a break before the line continues emphasizes the explosive violence of the act. The irregular rhythm caused by caesuras and uneven dispersion of sentences serves to disrupt the flow and consistency of the poem, reflecting how British rule in Ireland disrupts the natural state of the country. At least, this is one interpretation of Leda and the Swan. How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? Yeats chose the sonnet form, traditionally associated with romance and love, to highlight the irony - this is a full blown rape, a controversial subject for the tightly knit framework of a sonnet. The infusion of some divinity within the strain of humanity looks forward past the Classical Age to the communion of god and man through the ritual of the Eucharist.
But it takes hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars a month to keep DailyArt Magazine going. This is the most famous poem in the collection The tower, and the one with most imagery. Leda and the Swan seems to happen at the exact turning point between two cycles. This is no ordinary sonnet on the theme of sweet romance and eternal love. He calls up a series of unforgettable, bizarre images of an immediate physical event using abstract descriptions in brief language. We can say that Leda and the Swan represents something like the beginning of modern history.
Look out for the unusual way in which the poet ends the sonnet. Fed up with this fad of playwriting, he explored theosophy, Platonism, Neo-Platonism and Rosicracianism. A swan is a delicate animal that would never be used to illustrate Zeus. In order to study this poem we can wonder is the poem simply referring to a myth? The poem Leda and the Swan was inspired by the Greek myth, in which Leda is seduced and raped by Zeus in the guise of a sawn. The swan has the girl by the nape, the back of the neck, whilst her breast rests on his. In the octave, Yeats has built up the imagery of the event in its sheer physicality. She also gave birth to Clytemnestra and the result was the tragedy of Agamemnon.
Since immortals usually did not present themselves to humankind in their divine forms, Zeus changed himself into a great swan and in that shape ravished the helpless girl Carey 58-59. When Zeus overcame Leda with his divine power during the moment of his assault, did he also impart foreknowledge of what this event would cause, before — once it was all over — he dropped her, having done what he came to do? The subject matter is taken from one of the many stories in Greek mythology. This poem is based on the Greek Myth of Leda and Zeus. If Leda did indeed consent to the union with Zeus, then she is effectively the catalyst for horror — this may be a reflection on the actions of some of the women Yeats knew or Yeats may even be discussing the consequences of his own actions. Throughout the entire poem Yeats conveys this image of godly power and imagery through the act of rape carried out by the swan.