William Butler Yeats' "Among School Children" Analysis

Topics: William Butler Yeats / Pages: 3 (668 words) / Published: Nov 15th, 2013
Poetic Analysis of William Butler Yeats’ “Among School Children”

As he walks through the schoolroom, Yeats is antagonized by the unfortunate reality in which the human persona is nothing but delicate. Yeats struggles with his pride and whether or not he had any impact in someone else’s life. Being constantly panicked by the unpredictability of life, Yeats decides to accept the certainty of death as a sad truth. Upon realizing that no amount of eluding can prevent the absolute power of time from taking what it desires, Yeats accepts the world for what it is and finally understands the importance of a modest, candid presence.

Poetic Analysis of William Butler Yeats’ “Among School Children” When it comes to context, the use of children in a work such as this differs greatly from poems that take a similar tone. Yeats utilizes the presence of children and classroom setting to add perspective to his thoughts dealing with the philosophy of life and death, instead of using the typical method through desperation. Yeats enters the schoolroom and is received by “a kind old nun”, who takes him around the room so he may observe the children as they carry on with their basic routine. While looking upon the children, Yeats realizes the unfortunate truth these children would someday have to come to terms with. At one point though, Yeats’ presence becomes obvious as the children begin to “stare upon a sixty-year-old smiling public man”. This scene invokes a memory of “a Ledaean body”, a reference to the rape of Leda, Helen of Troy. This draws a parallel between the shift from innocence to wisdom by the children and the sudden stripping of purity of Leda. This phrase is also a reference to Maud Gonne, a girl Yeats became infatuated with at a young age. Yeats compares Maud Gonne to Leda as Gonne became older and wiser,

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