Sailing to Byzantium | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Ruth Elizabeth Sullivan

This literature criticism consists of approximately 9 pages of analysis & critique of Sailing to Byzantium.
This section contains 2,410 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Ruth Elizabeth Sullivan

SOURCE: “Backward to Byzantium,” in Literature and Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1967, pp. 13-18.

In the following essay, Sullivan interprets “Sailing to Byzantium” as a yearning for the past, a “regression to the early, non-sexual state of oral union with mother.”

In “Sailing to Byzantium,” an old man failing in physical powers rejects his own country, with its birth-decay-death pattern of sensuality, for Byzantium and its passionless, immortal artifices. There he would be transformed from his natural, dying state into a golden bird singing on a golden bough, into immortal art. This is, very briefly, what Yeats's poem is about on its conscious level. It asserts the superiority and desirability of immortality over earthly life, of art over sensuality.

Beneath its conscious level, beneath the intellectual...

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This section contains 2,410 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ruth Elizabeth Sullivan