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Contrasting Yeats’ Second Coming and Shelley's Ozymandias Essay

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Contrasting Yeats’ Second Coming and Shelley's Ozymandias

 
   William Butler Yeats specialized in the early Modernists style of literature.  Coming just out of the Late Victorian age, Yeats used strong literary and historic elements in literary form to evoke his symbolic message in "The Second Coming."  Through the use of his theme of the "new Apocalypse," (lecture notes on Early 20th Century Modernism) he imagined the world was coming into a state of unsurity from the post-WWI Modernist experience.  The war left people in a state of chaos, and although the war was meant to bring people a sense of hope for no more wars in the future, it did far more damage then good, especially in people's minds.  The time in the Modernist era was reflected in the equally chaotic, and choppy word structure in Yeats' poem.  In "The Second Coming" conditions are illustrated as being chaotic, "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" (Yeats, Longman p. 2329: ll. 3-4), confused in a way.  Those words he uses, "fall apart," "cannot hold," and "anarchy" are ...


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