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

Analysis of Literary Devices: ""Leda and the Swan" ""Leda and the Swan" written by William Butler Yeats in 1928, is about a powerful god named Zeus

Extracts from this document...


Kimberly Gonzalez April 3, 2006 English 102 10 Poetry Paper Analysis of Literary Devices: ""Leda and the Swan" ""Leda and the Swan" written by William Butler Yeats in 1928, is about a powerful god named Zeus raping Leda in the form of a swan. It is assumed that the audience understands and has background knowledge of Greek Mythology and the event that Yeats bases this poem on. The result of Zeus raping Leda, Queen of Sparta is the birth of Helen. Helen is the reason for the fall of Troy. Yeats illustrates the rape of Leda and the cause of the fall of Troy through his use of personification, structure, and rhyme. ...read more.


The structure of the sonnet is Petrarchan, an Italian form of the sonnet that characteristically divides its theme into an octave and sestet. The octave is eight lines and states the problem. The sestet is six lines and states the resolution of the problem. In this poem, there is a clear separation between the octave and sestet. In the octave of the poem or first eight lines, Yeats illustrates Leda being raped which as represents the problem. The last six lines of the poem or the sestet Yeats resolves the problem. A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the in different beak could let her drop? ...read more.


How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? (5-8) Yeats uses these three elements in ""Leda and the Swan", to build his poem. Personification is used to give the swan the ability to use humanlike characteristics to rape Leda and to show the power that Zeus has. The structure helps to separate the problem and the resolution, making it easier for the reader to better understand the poem. The rhyme scheme is used to help with the flow of the poem; it sounds better reading it out loud with alternate rhyme. Yeats uses personification, structure, and rhyme to show the raping of Leda by Zeus, the swan and the consequences that come about in the future. ...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

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"

    This shows the vainness within their heart. Auden, in the second line of the last stanza, compares the emergence of poetry to the "start[ing] of the healing fountain" (line 64). To me, a fountain is a saviour to the desert just as poetry is a saviour to the hopelessness of human beings.

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

    Metaphors are used effectively in the poem and give a clear idea of feelings going on in the writer's head, "A fire was in my head." By using this metaphor I feel that it communicates pain effectively. Overall there is a very shadowy and vague impact on the reader.

  1. Yeats' Leda and the Swan

    She can't wait for it to be over with but in the same aspect she can't help but feel the rapists compassion for her. The author also uses the metaphor "And how can body, laid in that white rush" (7)to describe the man's assault.

  2. 1881 Yeats and "The Countess Cathleen".

    Above all he emerged as one of the founders of the new Irish theatre company. When Synge's play "The Playboy of the Western World" arrived at the climax of WB. Yeats campaign of baiting pious nationalism represented by Griffith's new organisation Sinn Fein; and immediately following Hornimans attempted seduction, it

  1. Discuss the way Yeats explores the theme of destruction in "Leda and the Swan".

    The ?dark? colour alludes to a lack of hope as it obstructs all light from around the victim. Critics interpret ?Leda and the Swan? to be an ?allegory for the ?rape? of Ireland by its colonial master? hence epitomising destructing and portraying it on a greater scale.

  2. Discuss how Yeats uses the theme of the supernatural in "The Cat and the ...

    Yeats?s expresses that there are external forces at work in one?s life, and these forces help shape human nature and create a balance in life. These external forces create a sense of mystical atmosphere because they show that one is never in control of their life.

  1. Discuss ways in which violence is presented in Leda and the Swan

    The first stanza quickly switches between the present and past tense, linking itself with the idea of confusion brought upon by Leda by ?the feathered glory? ?s act of violence, and she herself does not know how she should respond, leading to her ?nape caught in her bill? and yet her being unable to ?push the feathered glory from her?.

  2. In the light of 'Leda and The Swan' and 'The Second Coming' describe Yeats' ...

    Therefore, Yeats' is making a concealed reference to his Theory of The Mask highlighting the idea that the two interpenetrating, rotating cones have effectively reserved their motions and caused historical turbulence. We realise this firstly, due to his use of tenses.

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