Yeats Second Coming

Topics: Maitreya, Second Coming of Christ, Christian eschatology Pages: 1 (356 words) Published: March 27, 2013
There have been several prophesies foretelling the end of days and the second coming of the Messiah and, contrastingly, the anti-Christ. From the title of Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming”, one might expect to read about the glorious return of Christ to save his followers. However, Yeats’ exposes a miserable world where anarchy and chaos reign over the innocence of man. Through the use of images and allusions that portray a dark and foreboding atmosphere, Yeats warns us of what may lie ahead for humankind if we continue on our current path. The first stanza in “The Second Coming” describes the chaotic scene that Yeats sees occurring around him. He begins with a repetition, “turning and turning” (1. 1), emphasizing that this chaos is continuous and unending. Yeats also mentions a falcon, a bird that symbolizes power and hunting, but also discipline and control. Falcons are birds that are specially trained to hunt at their masters’ command and stop when told to do so. In this poem, the falcon is heedless of its master commands. The “widening gyre” (1. 1) that he refers to could possibly be referring to the increasing distance between the falcon and the falconer. The course of the falcon is like a widening gyre, the further away the falcon gets, it can no longer hear its master’s call. This serves as a symbol to represent mankind as the falcon and Christ as the falconer, the loss of control, that is, chaos that is going on in the world. Mankind has moved so far from its roots that it can no longer hear the call of its Creator. And at the point where the falcon can no longer hear its master and “the centre cannot hold, things [will] fall apart” (1. 3), and anarchy will be loosened upon the world. Yeats also refers to a “blood-dimmed tide” (1. 5), which could be an allusion to the flood of Noah in the Bible. However, Yeats’s description of the flood creates a picture of a dreadful, bloody scene, which symbolizes horrible situations such as war and massacre going...
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