Analysis of the Poem “The Second Coming”

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William Butler Yeats’ second coming poetry depicts a theme centered on the connection between politics and the arts. William Yeats, a poet, argues that the British government’s intervention in the Irish political system resulted in bad politics, which in turn produced a power play that enabled Britain to influence the Irish government. As an Irishman, Yeats was persuaded that harsh government had a negative effect on their social life, which contributed to the creation of the poem, which resembles a political manifesto. The relationship between arts and politics in this context is demonstrated where Yeats intends to use a poem to enlighten people about the political diversity and the consequences that befall them.
The poet has described how the politics in the country had negative impacts on the peoples’ lives by influencing the development of various philosophical and spiritual systems which are depicted in the poem as the mystery that would prevail. While using the religious context, Yeats uses complex images of spirituality like the great beast which symbolizes a violent animal within the Christianity belief where the beast represents evils and oppressions that will befall the people once the antichrist takes control of the world during the doomsday. Yeats demonstrates apocalyptic events that are about to happen in which the imagery of blood-dimmed tide and ceremony of the innocent is drowned are used to illustrate the expected political system changes in Ireland. These representations describe how the country is heading to a stage of great destruction due to injustices that befell the people following the rise of the European culture in the land.

The poet is trying to enlighten and call into action the people by predicting the occurrences that the harsh political era is slowly implementing as illustrated in the poem with the use of terms such as “Hardly are those words out.”. The imagery on the arrival of the second coming outlines the prediction of a dangerous “animal” that will tear apart the peace of the world which in this case the animal can include a political power that seeks dominance in the world politics. Yeats demonstrates the terrifying aspect of destruction by rendering a prediction of the massive image of a monster that signifies sufferings that will be encountered in the modern world. The second coming covers the overall view of the Irish culture referring to what is to come after changes in the present. The poem exerts the sense of cultural crisis that paves the way for conflicts and suffering

The spiritual imagery portrays the visions of the people and the corrupted nature that accompanies it. The poet brings out the hypocrisy that is practiced by the political institutions by conjuring the picture of a creature with a man head and lion body. The approach illustrates how this monster shows no mercy about the human suffering but rather awaits the desperation to feast them after being weak. The plight of the people can reflect the lives of the have-nots and the majority who are exploited with the implementation of oppressive government structures. The great beast has drawn a Christian iconography, which according to the poet represents evil and destruction. The monster is perceived as an idea from the Spiritus Mundi, and the soul of the world, to represent destruction to the world. The poet defines the commencement of apocalyptic occasions which he refers to as the “ceremony of innocence is drowned.” In this, the poet predicts how the world is about to transform tearing apart traditions and cultures due to the existence of the historical gyres. Through relating the petrifying perspective of destruction and disputes into an imagination of dismaying monsters, Yeats appeals to the world to view the poem as a warning and stay cautious against any foreign influences in their countries.

The philosophical representation has its stake in the poem as Yeats demonstrates how the Falcon does not hear the Falconer. The picture shows how the will of the people have been neglected by the institutions that were put in place by those in power and to a large extent by the foreign political influences that implemented political systems that are governed by the minority to represent the views of the silenced majority. The poet recognizes that things have fallen apart having experienced disruption of law and order in Irelan which led to the start of the war in his country. Additionally, Yeats demonstrates the image of interlocking gyres that describes patterns that engulf the cycle of civilization. The poet tries to inform the world about the past age and the evolution. The poem reveals how things from the history are gradually evolving and negatively affecting the modern world. The interlocking gyre implies the borrowed practices that interlock each other negatively and their evolvement in the modern world will have more harsh implications depending on the intensity of the effects. The poet assures the world that revelation is at hand and there is no way to evade that. The political greed that is dominating the world and this heads the world in a very critical situation that will see the world torn apart.

Yeast has collectively taken advantage of arts to sensitize the idea of corrupt political affiliations that have targeted the goodwill of the innocent majority. By use of poems, the poet can reach many readers who should take the idea seriously as a whistleblower that will help them look at things in a different perspective. Out of the oppression that the British government presented to the Irish, Yeats gets the insights that pushed him in writing a poem that he firmly believes will change the mind of the world and prepare people to combat the vast suffering that it presents. By composing a poem with symbols of evil and hypocrisy rather than beauty, Yeats uses imaginative illustrations as an idea of making people understand and object to the prevalent political oppression

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