Symbolism in Butler Yeat’s Poem Easter 1916

February 15, 2022 by Essay Writer

The poem “Easter 1916” written by William Butler Yeats is an extravagant piece that illustrates crippled history. The poem illuminates the Easter uprising in 1916, in which the Irish rose up against the British in a bloody conflict in Dublin that was a catalyst for growing unrest on the part of the Irish as a result of their centuries-long oppression by the British. Yeats dives into his indecision towards the martyred renegades of the Easter Uprising. Yeats is a striking artist deserving of study, not on the grounds that he gives objective authentic answers we may get some information about this period, nor does he give a precise point by point record of the chronicled procedure, but since of his splendid yet particular visionary bits of knowledge in our western culture and due to profound sensitivity, he communicates for the catastrophe and sentiment of human life. The poem is narrative by Yeats himself for the sole purpose to inform his audience to not sanction the independence to be overshadowed by the cost to achieve it. Yeasts’ use of diction, figurative language and Imagery sanctions him to convey the significance of his message. Through a consistency in form, Yeats maintains a sense of unity; yet he allows variations in this structure he further emphasizes particular elements of the poem to convey Ireland’s coming of age through the search for change and identity.

The use of the word “Motley” in this poem is nothing but a work of art. The word holds so voluminous symbolic and figurative meaning to it. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word motley means, “Incongruously varied in appearance or character; disparate”.

The lines: “Being certain that they and I. But lived where motley is worn,” add to the fact that each citizen, like Yeats, is well aware that they share a common identity, but the use of ‘motley’ (the chequered outfit worn by jesters) suggests that the idyll they all dream of is foolish. Because they don’t experience this motley-ness, there is a degree of separation between the English and the Irish. This also connects with the word “meaningless”, which is repeated twice in the same stanza, conveying how foolish and meaningless all these friendly talks are because he lives where “motley” is worn. This contrasts with the idealism summed in the phrase “wherever green is worn” at end of the poem. Yeats is primarily loved for his capacity to express anguish and enduring in exquisite resounding dialect. His uncertainty is passed on in the vagueness through numerous implications of words: both Motley and stone could be perused in different ways. A lyric’s abundance and nuance are regularly made by wide conceivable implications. This enables the responder to draw in with the lyric and disentangle their own understandings.

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

‘A terrible beauty ‘ is an oxymoron, which is utilized to depict the double impact of the Easter Rising. It is loathsome, on account of all the unnecessary passing’s that happened amid this uprising. It is delightful, in light of the fact that it opened the eyes of Ireland, which took into consideration the formation of the Irish Free State. These last two lines work as a method for helping the peruser to remember the bigger issue confronting Ireland. It is rehashed in alternate stanzas as a method for connecting them together; despite the fact that every stanza talks distinctively about the Easter Rising, in Ireland, they are associated with this expression.

The third stanza of ‘Easter 1916’ is extremely figurative, talking about a stone in a stream. In the main line, the speaker states, Hearts with one purpose alone.

Through summer and winter seem

Enchanted to a stone

To trouble the living stream.

The stone is evidently an image, and thusly this stanza can be deciphered in a boundless number of ways. One manner by which it can be translated is that one’s heart just has one reason, regardless of whether it is to thump all together for a living being to live, or to love another eternity, at that point it will swing to stone, and not have the capacity to work in some other way. This will cause issues in ‘the living stream,’ as something which can just have one capacity appears to be to a greater degree a weight than a delight or blessing. Life will keep on happening while this mono-working heart is ‘amidst everything.’ The Irish renegades’ sole reason, in their own particular eyes, was to defy the British government. Another method for deciphering it is that a stone that is tossed into a stream uproots water and disturbs the characteristic request of things; the progressives do a similar thing.


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