W. B. Yeats – ‘Easter 1916’

This poem centralise around the aftermath and the result of the Easter 1916 revolutionary rising. In my notes about this poem the opening stanza begins with a “hushed awe where protagonists reflect casual meetings of leaders of the rebellion” this emphasis the personal reflection oft the poem and the admiration shown by Yeats, but also the empathy presented as the people died from an unsuccessful rebellion.

     Admiration is shown through many accounts such as through nature. This is relevant to show also the physical changes of Ireland as the landscape has now been scared, nature and it’s effects will carry on, changes have been made in community, culture and Irish heritage but as nature will carry on, so will Ireland.

     The tone acquired in this poem changes when Yeats mood and reflection changes, he begins with a personal reflection of the revolutionaries before the uprising, suggesting he showed admiration and their everyday previous lives were much simpler and calmer – until the revolution. The thoughts and feelings then change to awe showing almost a warning statement about the changes that have occurred and that will occur to all aspects of Ireland. For me, the tone is significant to the poem because although we are understanding the thoughts and feelings of the people who died, we are also reaching a conclusion about Yeats own feelings and how the revolution personally affected him and his beliefs. IT also presents a new reflection upon his own life of new admiration for the extreme beliefs people can have, pushing his own experiences to become similar to the lifestyles and accomplishments of the people who had died and the impact that had on everyone around him, both then and for a future Ireland.


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