Everything you need to understand or teach Leda and the Swan by William Butler Yeats.
The title of the poem is important, because it is the only indication of the characters who are the subject of the poem. In the poem, Yeats assumes that the reader is familiar with the myth referred to in the title. Throughout the fourteen lines, he never uses the names of either of the characters. Zeus's name in fact appears neither in the title nor the text of the poem; the reader is expected to understand that the swan is an incarnation of the all-powerful god.
The structure of the sonnet is Petrarchan, an Italian form of the sonnet that characteristically divides its theme into an octave, in which a problem or emotion is stated, and a sestet, in which the problem or emotional tension is resolved. There is a clear separation between the first eight lines (the octave) and the final six (the sestet).
The octave is... View more of the Leda and the Swan Summary