Easter 1916- Yeats

Topics: Easter Rising, Ireland, Sinn Féin Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: July 30, 2013
Easter 1916
Background information:
* This poem is a elegy for those that died in the Easter rebellion in Dublin * 24th April 1916- Easter uprising
* British soldiers executed some of the rebels (Yeats knew many of them) * Fought for the independence of Ireland
Themes:
* Irish nationalism
* Nature
* Remembrance
* Change
* Independence
* Sacrifice
* Politics
Structure:
* 4 stanzas, first stanza has 16 lines, second has 24 lines third has 16 lines and fourth has 24 lines. ( this represents the date of the Easter uprising 24th April 1916) * There is an a a b a b half rhyme scheme

* The poem is written in first person (from Yeats point of view), personalizing the poem, an insight of Yeats thoughts Techniques/ analysis:
* Title- Easter 1916: Easter is a holy time of the year, it is when Jesus was sacrificed, foreboding? Is it foreshadowing a sacrifice for a cause? * First stanza- description of the rebels, their day-to-day lives. - Yeats is expressing that these rebels were just your normal everyday people * "from counter...desk among grey

Eighteenth century houses" (lines 3-4)
Enjambment and long vowel sound. It makes it almost dreamlike and minimizes the emphasis on the rhyme scheme. * Repetition of "polite meaningless words"- shows the audience that Yeats and the rebels were just acquaintances. Also Shows his patronising attitude. * Use of "...mocking..." and "...motley (colours of the court jester) worn..." shows Yeats amusement and mockery of the people. Perhaps taking them as fools for what is to come in their impending future. "...motley..." could also refer to the fact that the men were part of the abbey theatre, as the abbey theatre was known for not caring about the issues of Ireland. * "a terrible beauty is born", oxymoron: used to describe the dual effect of the Easter Rising. It is terrible, because of all the needless deaths; It is beautiful, because...
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