Critical Essay on “the Second Coming”

Topics: World War II, World War I, Europe Pages: 3 (1143 words) Published: January 9, 2011
Critical essay on “The Second Coming”

“The Second Coming” from W.B. Yeats is a description that transcends the limits of poetic beauty to become a work of critical character. The poem transmits to the reader an atmosphere of chaos and destruction, this description chaotic of environment has a direct relationship with the cultural and political interwar period. The poem has three common themes: 1) the presentation of chaotic motion as the bustle of the World War I destruction left in its wake, 2) the animal metaphor as a sign of irrationality and 3) treatment of topological aspects as description of the destruction. It is possible to construct an interpretation through historical analysis of the three aspects mentioned above. This essay attempts to move between these three themes to link them to historical events that marked the time the poem was written and its relationship with the destruction of European culture. 

The values on which European culture was based were suddenly wiped out, the ideals of liberalism, progress, and the unshakable faith in positivism are not only questioned, but the extreme violence is prevalent. This sense of destruction of bound denotes the character of the first line of description; of the chaotic motion. The words of the poem draw a bustling atmosphere of brutal, confusing, a sense that attacks the reader with a description of the world's deepest decline. “The falcon cannot hear the falconer” (54) opens the doors to the first part of the poem. From the beginning, Yeats presents the chaotic motion of a humanity without direction. In a second step, anarchy and blood are presented as the new plague. “The anarchy is loosed” (54) and “the blood-dimmed tide is loosed” (54) goes beyond the chaotic motion can cover all the known, the very existence. However, the chaotic moment is captured with the announcement of the second coming; this warning is the central point of the bustle, the constant uncertainty and the almost ubiquitous...
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