Violence In Leda and the Swan by W.B.Yeats Essay

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Violence In Leda and the swan by W.B.Yeats

“Leda and the Swan” is one of the most well known poems by Yeats, although it’s controversy as to what really happens during the lines of this sonnet. There are many different ways as to how one can approach the interpretation of the poem, is it influenced by Yeats’ own life, in which case he puts all his frustration towards Maud Gonne into words, or is it a poem about power, or about politics?

I have deliberately chosen not to take into consideration the political and social background of Ireland at that time. This, because I prefer to restrain my analysis to the poem itself, and how one could interpret its proper meaning. As a consequence, it is interesting and important to remember
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Furthermore, we can see an evolution in the language use, which evolves from aggresivity to passivity. We can put these two elements in parallel, and observe. The poem starts on three words “a sudden blow”, a violent start for a sonnet, who usually should speak about love. They are followed by a colon, which emphasises the attention we give to them. The first verse is short, and divided into parts, by commas, which gives a continuous and repetitive rhythm, and sets violence into the structure of the poem itself, it maybe shows Leda’s attempts to fight back and not let herself overpowered by the swan, and her halting breathing, so the commas would be the swan’s actions interrupted by Leda’s. The three first words of the poem puts the reader immediately into the action, as if the reader arrives in the middle of an already existing action, an harsh and violent action. And we find this aggresivity further on which “great wings beating”, beating, the verb used is not anodyne, as it sets the action of the wings in context, the reader understands that the wings are in movement, but as the verb can also refer to a violent action, it hints the reader maybe that the poem is not going to follow the usual themes of sonnets. The next word still contributing to the violence, and
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