Use of Dramatic Contrast in Yeats' Poetry

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Yeats' poetry is very dramatic because he usually creates dramatic contrasts within his poems and because his tone changes regularly. When he wasn't in conflict with the world around him he was in conflict with himself. He was never satisfied with modern Ireland, even when he was younger. As he grew older, his dissatisfaction became even greater. Firstly he uses a sharp contrast in his tone. This is particularly evident in his poem 'September 1913'. He starts by attacking the greedy uncultured people of Ireland, especially the shopkeepers who “add the halfpence to the pence”. He uses adjectives such as “greasy” and “shivering” to help portray his feelings of disgust and vexation. This gives the stanza a reproachful tone. At the end of the stanza he introduces the refrain: “Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary in the grave” This refrain enforces his disgust at the type of money hungry people that the Irish have become. In the third and fourth stanza, however, Yeats completely changes the tone of his poetry. He praises the romantics of Irish history, such as Rob...

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