Preview
Preview

Why Byzantium, Yeats? Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 969 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The poem, Sailing to Byzantium, written by William Butler Yeats, depicts a poet’s internal struggle with his aging as he pursues for a sanctuary that allows him to become one with his soul. The poet, Yeats, is therefore sailing from his native land of Ireland to “the holy city of Byzantium,” because “that” country that he originally lived in belongs to the youth (Yeats 937). This escape from the natural world into a paradise represents the firmness and acceptance of Yeats’ monuments, which consists of his poetry. Unlike Ireland, the poet perceives Byzantium as a source for bodily and spiritual rejuvenation for his aging and redemption for his monuments.
Yeats, in the latter years of his life, chose to sail to Byzantium and transform into an entity that has fully grown out of the nature of the society. The sacred city, Byzantium, was the capital of the Byzantium Empire and served as Yeats’ place of paradise and the only place where art and man can become a single body. In contrast, he describes Ireland as a land that provides no sense of glory for the aged and their intellect. In the first stanza, Yeats associates natural images to represent the youth and the sensuality that is present in Ireland. For example, “the birds in the trees” symbolize the freedom, and the “salmon” and “mackerel” are two types of fish that occupy the seas when reproducing (Yeats 937). Nonetheless, Yeats explains that whether it is a “fish, flesh, or fowl” everything that is born must die, because that is the nature of being mortal (Yeats 937). In addition, the last two lines of the first stanza serve as a thesis to the poem, because throughout the poem, similar notions are mentioned about artistic permanence and “sensual music.” Yeats in these lines w...


... middle of paper ...


...ugh to sing” in permanence (Yeats 938). In Byzantium, the songs he will sing as a golden bird are none other than Yeats’ poetry that will resemble spiritual essence that is free from the sensual world.
In conclusion, after analyzing the motive behind why Yeats’ sailed to Byzantium, it is acceptable to say that Yeats’ was escaping the mortal and ignorant society of Ireland, in which his monuments were not acknowledged. Thus, to quench his desires, he arrived to the holy city of Byzantium where he anticipated on becoming one with his soul and releasing his mortal attributes to provide justice to himself and his art by becoming a revered golden bird.



Works Cited

Yeats, William Butler. “Sailing to Byzantium.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry,
Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 11th ed. New York: Longman,
2010. 937-38. Print.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Yeats’ Sailing to Byzantium - Yeats’ Sailing to Byzantium       In "The Circus Animals' Desertion," W. B. Yeats asserted that his images "[g]rew in pure mind" (630). But the golden bird of "Sailing to Byzantium" may make us feel that "pure mind," although compelling, is not sufficient explanation. Where did that singing bird come from. Yeats's creative eclecticism, blending the morning's conversation with philosophical abstractions, makes the notion of one and only one source for any image implausible: see Frank O'Connor's comments on the genesis of "Lapis Lazuli," for example (211-22)....   [tags: Yeats Sailing Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
777 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Why Byzantium, Yeats? Essay - The poem, Sailing to Byzantium, written by William Butler Yeats, depicts a poet’s internal struggle with his aging as he pursues for a sanctuary that allows him to become one with his soul. The poet, Yeats, is therefore sailing from his native land of Ireland to “the holy city of Byzantium,” because “that” country that he originally lived in belongs to the youth (Yeats 937). This escape from the natural world into a paradise represents the firmness and acceptance of Yeats’ monuments, which consists of his poetry....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]
:: 1 Works Cited
969 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Sailing to Byzantium Essay - Sailing to Byzantium In W.B. Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium” the narrator is an older man looking at his life with detest as the way it appears now. He is holding resent for the way the young get to live their lives and how he lives his now. The narrator is dealing with the issue of being older and his sadness of worth in this life, and who is later able to come to terms and accept his life. In “Sailing to Byzantium” the poem is broken up into four stanzas, each describing a different part of the voyage and the feeling associate with it....   [tags: W.B. Yeats Sailing to Byzantium Essays]
:: 10 Works Cited
1169 words
(3.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Sailing to Byzantium”: William Butler Yeats Essay - The enigmatic man, who is William Butler Yeats, has a life full of intense emotion and feeling that causes his experiences to be quite radical to say the least. His early childhood, interest in occults, and many encounters with questionable women truly shaped his lifetime of poetry in many ways. As well his poem “Sailing to Byzantium” had many complex themes, a central theme of time, and gave interesting views on art and experience. There were people of the poetry world that analyzed William Butler Yeats’ work and saw quite an interesting use of symbolism and a strikingly unique use of fantastical imagery....   [tags: passion and spiritualism]
:: 6 Works Cited
1562 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Comparison of William Butler Yeats Poems The Lake Isle of Innestree, The Wild Swans at Cole, and Sailing to Byzantium - Author of poetry, William Butler Yeats, wrote during the twentieth century which was a time of change. It was marked by world wars, revolutions, technological innovations, and also a mass media explosion. Throughout Yeats poems he indirectly sends a message to his readers through the symbolism of certain objects. In the poems The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The wild Swans at Cole, and Sailing to Byzantium, all by William Yeats expresses his emotional impact of his word choices and symbolic images....   [tags: symbolism, personal, emotion]
:: 3 Works Cited
536 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Byzantium - Deep Desires that Transcend Time - Byzantium  - Deep Desires that Transcend Time       William Butler Yeats wrote two poems which are together known as the Byzantium series. The first is "Sailing to Byzantium," and its sequel is simply named "Byzantium." The former is considered the easier of the two to understand. It contains multiple meanings and emotions, and the poet uses various literary devices to communicate them. Two of the most dominant themes of this poem are the desire for escape from the hardships of this world and the quest for immortality....   [tags: Sailing Byzantium Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
925 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis of William Butler Yeats' Poems Essay examples - Analysis of William Butler Yeats' Poems; When You Are Old, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Wild Swans at Coole, The Second Coming and Sailing to Byzantium In many poems, short stories, plays, television shows and novels an author usually deals with a main idea in each of their works. A main reason they do this is due to the fact that they either have a strong belief in that very idea or it somehow correlates to an important piece of their life overall. For example the author Thomas Hardy likes to deal with the idea of loss in many different ways within his poems some being positive and some being negative....   [tags: William Yeats, Poetry]
:: 3 Works Cited
1371 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Life of the Soul Revealed in Sailing to Byzantium and Shadows Essay - Life of the Soul Revealed in Sailing to Byzantium and Shadows         The view of death from an aged individual can be one of acceptance of his life’s end or one of mystified wonder over the immortality of the soul. Both William Butler Yeats and David Herbert Lawrence take the latter view in their respective poems, "Sailing to Byzantium" and "Shadows." By viewing death as a continuation of their soul’s life in a different realm of being, they provide a comforting solution to the fear that death may be the end of their existence....   [tags: Sailing Byzantium Essays]
:: 9 Works Cited
2589 words
(7.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Use of Symbols in Yeats's Work, A Vision Essay - Use of Symbols in Yeats's Work, A Vision In his 1901 essay "Magic", Yeats writes, "I cannot now think symbols less than the greatest of all powers whether they are used consciously by the masters of magic, or half unconsciously by their successors, the poet, the musician and the artist" (p. 28). Later, in his introduction to A Vision, he explains, "I put the Tower and the Winding Stair together into evidence to show that my poetry has gained in self possession and power. I owe this change to an incredible experience" (Vision p.8)....   [tags: Yeats Vision Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
3287 words
(9.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Sailing to Byzantium - Sailing to Byzantium The poem, "Sailing to Byzantium" by William Butler Yeats, is an in depth look at the journeys of one man seeking to escape the idle and uneducated society of Europe. Yeats pursues a society of which sensual and artistic domains reign. The goal of the author is to become a part of Byzantine civilization and to be forever immortalized in the artwork presented in gold on the walls of the Byzantine churches. Immersion into a different culture and lifestyle is the only way to truly experience and fully understand the ways of this other culture....   [tags: Papers] 596 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]