Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2015

Department

English

First Advisor

Richard Elia

Abstract

William Butler Yeats has been regarded as one of the most important poets of the modern era. His poetry is known throughout the world for its attention to form, masterful imagery, and its distinctly Irish nature. Always a patriot, much of Yeats’ life was devoted to the resurrection of Irish culture in what he hoped would be a Celtic Renaissance free from the heavily political implications of the Irish nationalist movement of his time. This essay seeks to discuss and understand Yeats’ methods and inspirations behind conveying his nationalism and love of Irish lore through his poetry, especially in his earlier years of publication. He was concerned not just with people’s knowledge of Ireland and her storied past, but also with the cultural wellbeing of Ireland’s future, especially when it came to fostering future Irish artists and creative types. This essay examines seven works by Yeats organized into three sections, each individual section representing a different point in his creative journey towards finding his voice for Ireland’s future writers and artists. His hope was to foster the creation of a literary tradition that was Irish in its roots for the entertainment, advancement, and representation of a thoroughly Irish people. This paper seeks to discover how exactly he went about attempting to create such a tradition.

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