Yeats believed in the cyclical nature of history, and "The Second Coming," a two-stanza blank verse poem, foretells the cataclysmic end of an era with imagery of whirling chaos and fear. It has been called a "lament for lost civilizations" and a "vision of disaster."
It was written between 1898 and 1899, when Yeats was 38 years old. The poem is based on 1st Century Roman poet Virgil's Eclogues, which describe the fall of Troy and the suffering of ancient Rome during their annual agricultural fair. In between these two epic poems, Virgil described the coming of age of Aeneas, who would go on to found Rome. For Yeats, this marked the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of Christianity.
He first read about Virgil in a magazine article and was so inspired by the Roman poet he immediately set out to write his own version. Yeats' poem focuses on the downfall of Greece and Rome while Virgil's had focused more narrowly on Rome alone. But both poems use similar language and imagery to describe the ending of civilizations that resonate with many other poets since (including Byron and Shelley).
The conventional tale of Christ's coming to redeem the "rituous" is subverted in Yeats' poem "The Second Coming." Instead, he used horrifying and twisted animal images to represent a facet of the world's impending demise without redemption. These images include: a tiger (representing war), a crocodile (disaster), a shark (famine), a leopard (pestilence), and a bear (death).
Yeats also uses this poem as a vehicle for criticizing human nature. He shows that even after witnessing the horrors of World War I, people were still willing to go to war over political differences. He also reveals that people will turn against each other in times of chaos or danger, just like dogs will fight over food when there is no one around to protect them.
Finally, Yeats uses this poem as a warning about ignoring history. He states that if we forget what has happened before, we risk repeating its mistakes.
These are just some examples of how Yeats uses language to express his ideas about the Second Coming. In general, poetry is best understood by reading it alongside other texts, such as novels or plays. You can do this by reading poems like "The Second Coming" within their broader contexts: other poems by Yeats or others on similar topics, historical events related to the topic, and so on.
W.B. Yeats' most renowned poem is "The Second Coming." The opening line of the poem depicts a world of chaos, confusion, and misery. The second, lengthier verse imagines the speaker obtaining a vision of the future, but instead of Jesus' glorious return, the vision depicts the coming of a monstrous beast. This poem was written in 1919. It is part of a collection of poems titled Poems (1920).
Yeats intended for readers to interpret the poem as a prophecy about Christianity's return to Europe after World War I. The poem describes an evil force that will spread terror across the world. Although this monster is not identified, many scholars believe it represents communism because communism is seen as evil by most people.
Yeats also predicted that this new religion would inspire great violence. He believed that humanity was on the brink of self-destruction due to political corruption and war. "The Second Coming" reveals that only a few individuals will be saved from this hellish fate. Everyone else will participate in the suffering of the world during the time leading up to the end of days.
Many critics have interpreted the poem as a warning about the dangers of communism. Others see it as a metaphor for spiritual rebirth. Whatever your interpretation may be, this poem is worth reading because of its prophetic nature.
In reaction to the climate of postwar Europe, Yeats penned "The Second Coming." How are your worries? Yeats had a peculiar, arcane concept of historical transformation. In broad strokes, he thought that history unfolded in a precise pattern, which he imagined as gyres or spirals. At certain moments in these cycles, a new vision or set of visions would be born within humanity, causing them to forget their ordinary preoccupations and ready themselves for some great change. These moments were called "coming" things. The first coming thing happened around 595 B.C., when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. The second coming thing happened in 1945, with the launch of the first atomic bomb. And the third coming thing will happen in 1995, when NASA launches the Internet.
Yeats believed that just as there is a time for revolution and a time for restoration, so too there is a time for chaos, dissolution, and renewal. He looked forward to the day when Ireland would be united again after years of civil strife. And like many poets before and since, he hoped for a revival of poetry and learning. One could say that he wanted a return to "the old order before the flood," but unlike most people, Yeats didn't believe that God had directly intervened in history to bring about such a world. Rather, he imagined that hidden forces were working away in secret places where no one saw or knew they were being shaped.
Themes of "The Second Coming": The key themes foregrounded in this poem are violence, prophesy, and meaninglessness. Yeats underlines that the current world is disintegrating and that a new, scary reality is going to arise. The concept of "the Second Coming" is not found in the Bible. However, it is discussed in many other texts including the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Prophecy was very popular among 19th-century poets because it was believed to be an effective way to express one's feelings about society at that time.
Yeats uses the term "coming" twice in this poem: first, when describing the moment Jesus returns to Earth after being resurrected; second, when referring to the future, unknown event when everyone will be judged for their actions here on earth. In both cases, "the coming" refers to Christ's return to Earth.
Yeats also uses the word "event," which is drawn from the history books. At the end of the First World War (which has been described as "the war to end all wars") people started using the term "second war to end all wars" as a prophecy about how many years would pass before another global conflict arose. Yeats knew about this phrase and used it as a reference to the coming event that would be as devastating as the first world war.
Finally, Yeats compares the coming event to the meaninglessness of life.
He also indicates that this new reality is inevitable because it is part of human nature for things to turn violent at times of change. Finally, he suggests that there is no hope for humanity because its destruction is foretold by many prophets over time.
Yeats begins the poem by saying that the "second coming" will be both sudden and slow. This coming refers to Jesus' return to Earth after his death, burial, and resurrection. Many people think that when Jesus returns, he will bring about global peace and love among all mankind. However, according to Yeats, this return will be full of violence because humans will betray each other like they have done throughout history. Therefore, there is no hope for humanity because its future is bleak since most people will die without seeing the new age come about.
In conclusion, the theme of the Second Coming is violence. Even though Jesus will return to end war and suffering, he first has to go through great pain before he can save everyone.