Research Paper on William B Yeats

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Daniel Vasquez
Ms. Perricone
English 4
Period 6
3/4/11
The Irish Rebellion of 1641, his mother reading Irish folktales to him as a child, and William Blake’s use of fiction influenced William Butler Yeats to write “The Curse of the Fire and the Shadows”. Yeats is a huge part of 20th century English and Irish literature and one of the most important writers that started the “Irish Literary Revival” and was responsible for starting a his own literary club called “The Rhymers Club”. In addition to being a great poet Yeats was always prominent in writing short stories and plays. One of Yeats’ individual characteristics is his split sense of certain situations. He was very spiritual and yet managed to cling to a skeptical sense of artistic detachment. His beliefs were deeply torn between his interest in mysticism and the inner workings of the universe to his faith in god and his spiritual being. Yeats was a man deeply seeded in the people around him. This being a lot of the subjects in all of his writing, Yeats also wrote about love, the mind, spirituality, mysticism, fiction, reality, war, and even sometimes flirted with idea of fascism. Being born and raised in Ireland Yeats identified with the people and their struggles against England but he didn’t agree with their passiveness and throughout life he had attempted to improve the situation by political means. Although a lot of the conflict had been settled through war, like the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

The Irish Rebellion was fought between the catholic Irish rebels and the English and Scottish Protestants that controlled the area. The conflict arose when some Irish Catholics attempted a coup to overthrow the English administration. Their goal was to force them to allow the Catholics their basic religious rights. Although their coup failed it was the spark that started the Irish Rebellion of 1641 also known as the Irish confederate wars. A war that lasted from 1641 to 1649 and was fought in Ireland itself. The Irish fought with only about 5,000 soldiers against England’s army of 19,000. Despite the obvious advantage the English held, the Irish had managed to kill some 3,000 English and Scottish soldiers in the first battle of the war. Although the mainly Puritan English parliament had used yellow journalism to deceive the people of England and said that hundreds of thousands were murdered by the Irish catholic scum. Though this was just a political tactic employed by parliament to steal power away from King Charles I and sully his reputation as the king of England. Parliament distrusted him so much that they feared he would use the Irish against the Puritans in the English Civil war that begun in 1642. In the midst of all the political scandal parliament had begun to recruit more soldiers for the war from both England and Scotland. Although it had already been too late because the Irish had already gained control of the area and formed their own provisional government in Kilkenny. At first Charles I had ordered James Butler who was the duke of Oromonde and lord lieutenant of Ireland to negotiate a treaty to end the war. Except that the parliament in London and the new parliament in Dublin had both refused the terms of this agreement. By 1645 Charles I had been captured by Cromwell. Also Ormonde was named the head of the confederacy that was the agreed upon union between the Royalists and the Puritans in Ireland. Although not everyone had agreed to be led by Ormonde. Murrough O'Brien of Inchiquin an Irish Protestant that had been posted in the town of Munster. Rather than just rejecting the new estabblishment he had burned Munster to the ground on orders from Parliament, earning him the nickname Murrough of the burnings. Murrough wasn't alone in the opposition of Ormonde, a lot of the people who refused the new leaders were Irish catholic rebels that did not like the idea of working together with their old enemies. The war had reached its climax when Colonel...
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