Irony of Fate in W.B.Yeats Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?

Topics: William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne, Iseult Gonne Pages: 4 (1480 words) Published: January 14, 2009
Irony of Fate in W.B.Yeats Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?

The poem “Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?” by William Butler Yeats is a poem that brings insight into Yeats is life and his perception of life. In this poem, Yeats transmits to the reader how life can be unpredictable. This poem portrays the true reality of life, which is bitter and harsh. Yeats is focus in this poem is turned towards life and he uses many people close to him in this poem to demonstrate examples of how life can be a game of fate. Yeats in this poem tries to explain how nothing can be sure about life. He chooses people in his life he knew well to depict how they had potential but life and fate ended up cutting them short. Even though these people were the ones who had high potential overtime fate ended up changing their lives. This poem, “Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?” (1) is really asking why should not old men be insane? The word mad refers to as driven insane, and not as in angry. Also “men” and “mad” in this sentence are a clear use of alteration and Yeats uses it to place emphasis on these words. Yeats also tries to explain to the reader from this line why old men have a right to be insane. Throughout this poem Yeats tries to explain why old men are mad by comparing the past to the present and how is changes. He does this by using couplets to pair together examples that demonstrate the reasons overtime why potential was wasted. Yeats also used couplets to transition from one verse to another. Yeats used an A, B, A, B rhyme scheme to demonstrate the pairing together of verses. He wants to place emphasis on the pairing together of verses to allow the reader to better understand the theme of the poem and also so he can stress the truth about life and demonstrate the change over time. Yeats first attempt to explain to us why old men should be made is, “Some have known a likely lad” (2). By likely Yeats means promising, likely to succeed or do something significant. Here he is...
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