Yeats Sample

Topics: William Butler Yeats, John MacBride, Ireland Pages: 2 (805 words) Published: May 29, 2013
WB Yeats was born in 1865 in Dublin. His parents were John Butler Yeats, a portrait painter, and Susan Pollexfen. His family was upper class, Protestant and of Anglo-Irish descent. His ancestors were church rectors. The Yeats family had aspirations to maintain its wealth and traditions and this shaped WB Yeats and his poetry. At the age of two, Yeats moved with his family to London, where they remained for Yeat’s childhood. He developed an affinity with Sligo because he spent a lot of summers with his mother’s family there. At the age of sixteen, Yeat’s family moved back to Dublin. Yeats was born into a family context that respected culture and art. Besides his father being an artist, his brother Jack B. Yeats became Ireland’s most famous painter. Yeats received tuition at the School of Art in Dublin from 1884 to 1886. There he gained an interest in mysticism and the supernatural. As he reached manhood, much of his education consisted of private tuition and reading. This accounts for the extreme individualism found in his poetry. He became interested in Hinduism and the occult. During his life, he developed interests in theosophy, ancient civilisations, psychic power, spiritualism, magic, eastern religions and the supernatural. He sought symbols for his poetry in these topics. These symbols account for the difficulty of some of his poetry, especially his later work. He became a supporter of Irish Nationalism because of his friendship with John O'Leary, a Fenian, and Maud Gonne, a keen Irish Nationalist. He built up a relationship with Maud through theatre work and developed a futile life-long love for her. Maud was unusually beautiful. He expressed his frustrated love for Maud indirectly in many of his poems, often through an image of a woman with yellow hair. Yeats frequently proposed marriage to Maud but was rejected every time. In 1903 Maud Gonne married the Irish Nationalist, Major John MacBride who was executed in 1916 following the Easter Rising. This...
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