Easter 1916 Essay

Submitted By Sarah-Stokes
Words: 556
Pages: 3

‘Easter 1916′ by William Butler Yeats (W.B Yeats) is along with ‘September 1913′ a political poem. Yeats describes an Irish immature revolutionary plan, which became unsuccessful to overthrow the British reign in Ireland. Yeats believed that these heroic figures who fought for the freedom should be remembered and thus decided to write about them to share his pride with the world.

Interestingly enough the structure of this poem is very exciting. There are sixteen lines in both the first and third stanza hence ’1916′. In the second and fourth stanza there are twenty four hence ’24th April’ the date the rising began. Lastly there are four stanza’s as April is the fourth month.

The first verse reflects the point of view of a flâneur (French: Meaning – ”Stroller”). The very first observation that is made obvious is the “vivid faces” these vivid faces are those of the youthful idealists of whom have the ambition to change the future of Ireland.

He then moves on to state “polite meaningless words” this highlights his patronising attitude towards those normal day average people who are “from counter or desk”. He shows no interest in these “grey” people consequently he greets them with a meaningless “nod of the head” or words of formality without any significance.

In the second stanza Yeats describes the story of people who participated in the Irish Revolution. A specific person who he makes reference to is John MacBride who was with the love of his life, but also “had done most bitter wrong // To some who are near my heard.” which portrays that he was in fact very abusive to Maud Gonne. However he puts his own emotions to one side as “He, too, has resigned his part”. Moreover, just after he names a few revolutionists he writes “casual comedy”, which gives the message that human life is extremely unvalued and leaves the question: “All these people died for what?“ engraved in many minds.

Throughout the third verse his main point is nature. The repetition of “stone“ throughout this verse is very important as when thrown into a stream a stone displaces water and the natural order of things; the revolutionaries do the same thing,