This was an astonishing view for First World War times, when most young Englishmen thought it their duty to die for their country. Even though Yeats clearly states that the swan is the god Zeus, he also emphasizes the physicality of the swan: Opponents object to risking their lives for the safety of foreign nations.
The reader can than conclude that the speaker is fighting in the air, and is certain of his death. Stallworthy, Jonathan, Between the Lines: He had not been despairing, seemingly not angry, he had simply written himself off.
The poem is a soliloquy or dramatic monologue in which a World War I Irish airman appears to display fearless equanimity and cold-sober honesty before his imminent death.
Ireland at the time of WW1 was still a part of the UK, though treated as a red headed stepchild at best by England. Do you think many young men, like the one in this poem, joined the Air Force in spite of their political beliefs? To unpick these paradoxes, a bit of analysis of the poem is required.
The death drove him to write of his feelings about the war. Parliament responded to the violence by outlawing Sinn Fein. And though the airman fights on the side of the British, he asserts himself as an Irishman, specifically from a region with a distinctive history and dialect: Then, the speaker claims that he is fighting people, even though he does not hate them.
Yeats has dramatized this situation to its fullest by putting the airman in a life-or-death situation. He had come ashore in a rubber raft from a German sub.
Most scholars maintain that Yeats was not close with Robert Gregory, and if so, one may wonder if the Gregory quartet was written less as a tribute to the major than as a consolation to his mother, Lady Gregory.
The speaker has yet to offer his explanation, especially if he did not hate the enemy nor love the ones he was fighting to defend.
Instead, he identifies as an Irish patriot, rather than a British one. Throughout the centuries, Ireland was treated as an English resource.
The constitution of Ireland was revised to sever all ties with Britain. Thus the primitive generator of existential decisions is neither reason nor even emotions but a basic character disposition of the person that tends to persist through life and determines many derivative choices.
The great beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born, where it will evolve into a second Christ or anti-Christ figure for the dark new age. There is a high that comes to some in battle - I don't think it's a healthy high, but I think it is what really drove my own youthful fantasies about being a fighter pilot.
No matter what shape it takes, the divine signals the role of fate in determining the course of history.
The speaker, an Irish airman Robert Gregory fighting in World War I, who is still confused with the reason for fighting. Any student of Yeats should go to the most definitive source of explanation of his poems.
During the Great Famine, a million Irish citizens died of starvation and epidemics of typhus and cholera, and two million more emigrated to England or North America. This short period of warfare—a kind of suspended death or death-in-life that Gregory nonetheless experiences as more intensely alive—has been worth his wasted life before the war and the wasted life that, apparently, he thought would most assuredly have followed.
In reality, and especially at that moment before death, all that matters is the present. Try to capture that feeling in a poem. The British rock group Keane based their song " A Bad Dream " featured on the album Under the Iron Sea on it, and a recording of the poem, read by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedyis played before the song at live venues, explaining their reasons for the lyrics.
The poem therefore has deep impact in me. But, the airman, as symbol of them all, would rather live "this life" and die in the air in a week than live to old age on the ground.
The modernists experimented with verse forms, aggressively engaged with contemporary politics, challenged poetic conventions and the literary tradition at large, and rejected the notion that poetry should simply be lyrical and beautiful. To Irish nationalists, the enemy of their enemy was their friend.
Instead, he identifies as an Irish patriot, rather than a British one.Imagery in Yeats's Poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death PAGES 1. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: an irish airman foresees his death, william butler yeats, an irish airman foresees his death analysis.
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‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’ is one of W. B. Yeats’s best-known poems: it is simultaneously both a war poem and a poem about Irishness, and yet, at the same time, neither of these.
To unpick these paradoxes, a bit of analysis of the poem is required. In balance with this life, this. Yeats wrote the poem in honor of Major Gregory, who fought and died in the air war against Germany in World War One.
Major Gregory was the son of Lady Gregory, an Irish aristocrat who was a strong supporter of the arts (especially Irish arts) and a very close friend of Yeats. A summary of “An Irish Airman foresees his Death” in William Butler Yeats's Yeats’s Poetry.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Yeats’s Poetry and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. By William Butler Yeats About this Poet William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.Download