• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

By close examination of "An Irish Airman Forsees his Death" and one other appropriately selected poem, discuss the effectiveness of the poetic methods used by Yeats in his presentation of heroic figures from his own lifetime.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

By close examination of "An Irish Airman Forsees his Death" and one other appropriately selected poem, discuss the effectiveness of the poetic methods used by Yeats in his presentation of heroic figures from his own lifetime. Consider * Why Yeats chose to write about these figures * The ways in which the form and structure of the poems contribute to Yeats' presentation of heroic figures * Yeats' language - including imagery - and tone in presenting heroic figures. The poet W.B Yeats lived and was writing during a period of Irish history which is infamous for its rebellious historical characters and figures of public admiration. Yeats expresses his feelings with regard to a personal heroic figure in "An Irish Airman Forsees his Death". Yeats then similarly tackles this subject in poems such as "Easter 1916" where he addresses his attitude more broadly towards the heroic, but public figures involved in the rising of 1916. Yeats reveals his explicit admiration for the men whom he writes about in these poems through his dignified and respectful tone. ...read more.

Middle

The undertone of the futility of war is more profound. Yeats wants to state that Gregory was driven to war out of a different force that did not involve passionate patriotism, but a deeper impulse. The poem expresses a level of Protestant patriotism which Yeats' finds admirable in his personal hero and Yeats establishes that Major Gregory was a man, proud of his identity. Gregory identifies him self as Irish: "My country is Kitltartan Cross, My countrymen Kiltartan's poor" The heavy use of repetition here emphasises Yeats' desire to express Gregory's noble qualities, as a man who values both his country and his countrymen. Yeats presents Robert Gregory as a clear sighted figure. Through Gregory's voice Yeats highlights that Gregory is very aware of the fact that his death in action would not really affect his country and those who share his nationality but do not know him personally, neither would it have an impact on his opposition: "No likely end could bring them loss Or leave them happier than before." ...read more.

Conclusion

Yeats' use of steady rhythm and caesura effectively communicate Gregory's deliberate and rational mode of thinking. It is the final section of this poem which seems to capture the sensibilities in Robert Gregory's persona that Yeats' believes the epitome of heroism. As an artist Yeats embraced all that was spiritual, sensual and unrestricted. Gregory has an overwhelming desire to encounter the heightened emotion that the experience of war would bring, it is this aspirational quality that intrigues Yeats most of all, and affirms his view of Gregory as the ultimate hero. Yeats expresses Robert Gregory's belief that nothing that would follow this experience of war would be so heightened, and so it would be worth losing his life to live this moment of sensual glory: "The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death." In the final line of the poem Yeats affirms Gregory's heroic qualities and also expresses a paradoxical and typically artistic contention. Although this experience would result in the end of Gregory's life, the moment preceding his death would be the epitome of all moments. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level W.B. Yeats section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay offers an effective analysis of one poem and is especially good at conveying the meaning and tone. Some perceptive comments on form, structure and language are made, though this area could be a bit more developed. A slight weakness of the essay is its inconsistent and often improper use of the apostrophe.
A major weakness is that the essay title clearly asks for commentary on one other poem, and only the briefest attention is given to 'Easter 1916'.
***

Marked by teacher Val Shore 27/03/2012

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level W.B. Yeats essays

  1. Poetry Analysis of W. H. Auden's "In Memory of W. B. Yeats"

    [dignity] [as] [to] [have] sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed" (lines 26 - 27) and individuals go on to be imprisoned in their own obsession of freedom. Section two focuses specifically on Yeats and the survival of his poem.

  2. 'An Irish airman foresees his death' and 'Wild swans at Coole'

    This shows that the airman was wealthy, as you had to be wealthy to be able to learn how to fly. Gregory was from a wealthy background so this shows that Yeats was probably thinking about Gregory. The poem shows that the airmen had a very selfish attitude and that

  1. The poem

    going on, I assume he says this because he doesn't like the church but I believe he genuinely doesn't think the church is too blame.

  2. Examine three poems by Auden and Yeats and compare how they present the struggle ...

    As he writes the poem, he compares the struggles of a novelist to a soldier to emphasize the effort that is required to write good pieces of work. Equally, Yeats and Auden both use similes and metaphors to accentuate the struggle that their personas have to undergo.

  1. How effective is W.B Yeats in cautioning the modern reader on the melancholic, the ...

    The poems, contains simplicity of style which marks the genuine feeling of the poet. "The Second Coming" is another poem written by William Butler Yeats in 1921. The poems holds a number of basic themes which can help to compare with 'A Prayer form my Daughter.'

  2. Commentary: The Scholars by W.B. Yeats.

    Because each translation represents a bit of the translator, it is therefore in itself a form of commentary. The first stanza not only has some profound metaphorical meaning with in it, but it also has some important technical aspects. First off, the first two verses open and close with the

  1. Love is a common theme in poetry and it has been written about for ...

    The rhythm of the poem, in my opinion, is quite slow because at the end of a lot of lines there are full stops and question marks. This in a way breaks up the regular rhythm of the poem and slows it down.

  2. How is the theme of change represented in "Wild Swans at Coole"?

    still, lover by lover?, and that their ?hearts have not grown cold.? Yeats shows jealousy towards the ?beautiful creatures? as being animals that mate for life, he wishes to be like them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work