Leda And The Swan Poem Analysis

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Crime of Innocence William Butler Yeats’ poem, “Leda and the Swan” is a dark tale that originated from the Greek myth in which Zeus takes the form of a swan to seduce the beautiful woman, Leda. The swan is traditionally symbolized as beauty and grace in Greek culture (pure spirit). Yeats uses the representation of a swan as an illusion to set the tone of the poem, where the readers would expect the swan as a protagonist. Contrarily, the swan revealed to be the antagonist. The speaker uses abstract words that appeared less destructive than the actuality happening as well as a double meaning in his writing. Further into the poem, the author includes many implications that perceives Leda 's confounded perception to how the appearance of innocence can be capable of committing great evil. The symbolism of the swan in the poem is written in a hauntingly beautiful way, despite the obscenities that is occurring within the stanzas. The speaker immediately establishes the physical relationship between the swan and Leda within the first four lines: “A sudden blow: the great wings beating still / Above the staggering girl, she her thighs caressed / By the…show more content…
The Greek myth of Agamemnon was about a king, who was betrayed by his wife despite his war efforts to reclaim his throne. In the second last stanza, “The broken wall, the burning roof and tower / And Agamemnon dead.” (lines 10, 11) references to the innocent expectations Leda had of the swan but was wrongly mistaken when the rape occurred. The betrayal takes place by the swan gaining Leda’s trust by impersonation of purity and victimizing her. This use of mistrust resulted in the confusion of Leda, not able to grasp what she wanted. By including this allusion of broken trust, the author ties in Agamemnon to Leda, showing the readers how misplaced Leda’s thoughts can be due to the holy bird she once
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