By Richard H Taylor

ISBN-10: 0312664567

ISBN-13: 9780312664565

ISBN-10: 1349173673

ISBN-13: 9781349173679

ISBN-10: 134917369X

ISBN-13: 9781349173693

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Extra resources for A Reader’s Guide to the Plays of W. B. Yeats

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In terms of Yeats's system Cathleen represents the completed personality of a primary phase and her relationship with Aleel provides the basis for that deduction. As poet and lover, Aleel is a creative and subjective presence. He performs no other action in the fictional world of the play but 26 A Reader's Guide to the Plays of W. B. Yeats to make love to Cathleen and praise her beauty. In the scene at the precise centre of the drama he prostrates himself before her, imploring her to leave the dangers of the wood in which she lives and flee with him to the protection of those who walk invisible and have foreseen the coming crisis.

He tears himself from Delia's arms to join the Irish patriots in the rising of 1798. Early Plays 35 The significant action of the play is as much the gradual revelation of the old woman's metaphorical nature as it is Michael Gillane's decision to abandon his self-interest and fight for Irish nationalism. The old woman is not so much a real person as she is the representation of an ideal, the personification of an abstraction, and therefore a justifiable cause for Michael's irrational decision. He is mesmerised, enchanted if you will, by the metaphorical truth she expresses in her own person and in her plight as well as by the heroic attraction of fame and glory whether or not the rebellion succeeds.

A similar effect is also achieved through varying the line length of Seanchan's speeches and the song he sings at Fedelm's entrance which signals the final crisis and its resolution. Verbal images and figures of speech are concentrated in those passages which set out to achieve a lyrical effect, but for the most part the physical elements of the stage picture are equally important in expressing and emphasising the theme. Scattered references are made to Celtic legends and heroes such as Finn, Oscar and Grania as well as to the arcane pagan symbolism of sun and moon (gold and silver) and the subjective, introspective waterfowl, herons and cranes, so peculiar to Yeats's personal philosophy.

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A Reader’s Guide to the Plays of W. B. Yeats by Richard H Taylor


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