Essay on the use of voices in the poetry of W.B. Yeats. A survey of the different techniques used by Yeats to create voices and characters. Special emphasis on the poems: "The Lover tells of the Rose in his Heart", "An Irish Airman Foresees his death", "The Second Coming" and "Among School Children".
[...] But the themes are also close to the ones that Yeats presents in his more personal poems. In Irish Airman Foresees his Death” he exposes death and a balance between life and death: balance with this life, this death” basically saying that his death will balance his life. This question also appears in “Byzantium” and “Sailing to Byzantium” where he talks about leaving his life to access “unaging intellect” but also shows the balance, with the struggle of choosing between the passion of life and the coldness of death. [...]
[...] Yeats also creates ironic and critical voices to present his themes and ideas. In Second Coming” he presents what could seem to be Second Coming” in Christian terms, however he refers to the arrival of a pagan messiah. The irony of the poem is many created at the beginning of the second stanza: “Surely some revelation is at hand; / Surely the Second Coming is at hand. / The Second Coming!” The repetition of “Second Coming” looks as if the voice was trying to convince itself of this second coming. [...]
[...] The poem is divided in eight stanzas. The first one is the public one; the seven others are his private voice. There is in this first stanza the presentation of his public duty (to visit the school): walk through the long schoolroom questioning;” but already in this public voice criticizes the way of education, mainly with the use of this word: which is, in his values something that is now corrupt. He then changes this public voice into a private voice by triggering it in the last line of the first stanza: sixty-year-old smiling public man”. [...]