Yeats + Friends

1372 Words6 Pages
‘No poet in our day has written more about his family and friends than Yeats, and no one has been more successful in enlarging them to heroic proportions.' INTRODUCTION I will begin this essay with a brief history of the life of William Butler Yeats in order to secure an understanding of the social and historical context from which he created his works. I will then go on to explain the broad development of Yeats's poetic form, style and technique showing in particular how his works can be separated into two separate periods providing a brief account of the influences in each period on his themes, context and subtexts. I will then discuss these points while, ‘commenting on a small group of poems' in particular …I will provide a detailed analysis drawing appropriate generalizations BRIEF HISTORY William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin on the 13 June 1865, living his life through the changeover from the Victorian to Modernist era. At the age of two William and his family followed his father, a Pre-Raphaelite painter to London where he lived from the age of two until he was sixteen. This was a difficult time for his family particularly his mother who longed for her home country of Ireland, consequently through her stories and songs as well as holidays, William was instilled with a very strong sense of Irish patriotism. William returned to Ireland in 1881 where he enrolled in the Dublin based, Metropolitan School of Art. Over the next five years he developed a fascination with literature as well as the occult and supernatural, William first published poems in 1885 in The Dublin University Review and formed the Dublin Lodge of the Hermetic society in 1886. In 1887 his family returned to London where a displaced Yeats became more focused on literature then ever. For the next few years William was primarily focused on identifying and expanding Irish heritage. He collaborated on Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry with George Russell and Douglas Hyde and injected Celtic influence into his works such as The Wonderings of Oisin and Other Poems. William eventually returned to Ireland permanently in 1896. Over the next decade he pursued various literary exploits including his involvement in the Irish literary revival and co-founding of the Abbey Theatre. Beside his roles as an Irish poet, playwright and mystic, William became involved in politics assuming the position of senator which developed his acclaim in the political sphere.
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