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W.B. Yeats: Nationalistic Reflection in His Poetry Essay

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W.B. Yeats: Nationalistic Reflection in His Poetry


William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, and prose writer who was one of most influential poets of the Twentieth century. His talents were celebrated by scholars and activists and, in 1923, Yeats received the Nobel Prize for literature. Through his poetry, Yeats confronted the reality that felt was Oppression and Heartship for himself and his Irish brethren. Armed only with a pen, parchment, and a dissident tongue, Yeats helped to ignite the Powderkeg that was Ireland in the early twentieth century.

Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, In 1865. His father was a lawyer turned into a painter, and thus his son inherited the creative (and unconventional) genes. Most of Yeats’ childhood was spent in London, where he attended the Godolphin School. At age fifteen, he attended Erasmus Smich School, in Dublin, where he studied are for three years, concentrating devoutly on literature, finding his outlet for expressing his dissident sentiments towards British rule.

From the dawning of recorded history, it seems as though Ireland has been divided by a more powerful entity. Ireland, all and parts, at various times, was a colony governed by English rule. From the late middle-ages, it was a kingdom, under the same monarch as England, but a separate kingdom. In law and practice, however, the Irish government was usually subordinate to the English government. The saga continues; Ireland’s dispute in later years was not only pertaining to land ownership, but also religious freedom, as most English are Protestant, and most Irish are Roman Catholic. The conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism played a large part in the Seventeenth century to the present.

The Irish litera...


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...er Yeats, it is a clear depiction of his nationalistic sentiments as well as his poetic style. If anything of value can be extracted from this paper, understand that Yeats was not a staunch right wing activist who sought revolution; neither was he a conservative who simply prayed for social order in Ireland. He was a talented individual who cultivated his talents to produce change in the country he loved so dearly. Perhaps that is what makes Yeats so special; he took his gift and gave it to the world.

Works Cited

Hogan, Patrick, "Colonialism and the problem of identity in Irish literature.," Vol. 23, College Literature, 10-01-1996, pp 163.

Saul, George Brandon; Ferrar, Harold., "Irish Literature.," Vol. 13, Colliers Encyclopedia CD-ROM, 02-28-1996.

Yeats, William Butler., "Poetry of William Butler Yeats: Critical Commentary.," Monarch Notes, 01-01-1963.


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