William Butler Yeats Writing Styles in Leda and the Swan

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The swan is an image that is found in many of Yeats's poems. (His poetry, in fact, is full of birds of various sorts, from eagles to owls to parrots, but the swan is the most frequently recurrent bird sym- bol.) Although what the swan represents evolves in Yeats's poetry, it seems for him to be essentially a symbol of mystery and passion. In "Leda and the Swan," the swan is mysterious, divine, incomprehensible, violent, and brutally passionate. The use of the swan and other recurring images in Yeats's poetry also serve to draw his entire body of work into a coherent whole. By using certain images over and over again, he creates a shorthand that allows readers to recognize complex ideas that may not be explicitly mentioned in a particular poem but are the focus of other works. The swan in some of Yeats's other works...

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This section contains 834 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Leda and the Swan Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Leda and the Swan from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.