Sailing to Byzantium | Critical Essay by William Empson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 33 pages of analysis & critique of Sailing to Byzantium.
This section contains 9,766 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William Empson

Critical Essay by William Empson

SOURCE: “Yeats and Byzantium,” in Grand Street, Vol. 1, No. 4, Summer, 1982, pp. 67-95.

In the following essay, Empson examines earlier drafts of Yeats's Byzantium poems to gain insight into the work.

I had a short article on “Sailing to Byzantium” and “Byzantium” in A Review of English Studies for Summer 1960, arguing that they are not so transcendental as many critics have assumed. If Yeats had meant what these people say, the poems would be in bad taste, marking a low, not a high, spiritual condition. The argument was from internal evidence, and I thought no more was needed. I was taken aback when a friend said: “Excellent; you have shown that Yeats was a pig unless he meant what you say, and obviously he didn't mean that...

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This section contains 9,766 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William Empson
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