Seamus Heaney's Act Of Union

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Act of Union Through the years, Irish poetry had a leaning towards representing Ireland as a raped woman. Seamus Heaney’s “Act of Union”, from his 1975 book of poetry, North, uses the theme of relationship, portraying Britain as a man towering over the weaker, feminine Ireland. The poem uses strong sexual metaphors, which try to compare the colonization of Ireland to that of a rape. The metaphors used through the poem describes what took place between England and Ireland as well as a sexual act taking place between a man and a woman. The poem’s title “Act of Union” shadows over the poem with its double meaning. One interpretation of the title can be the actual Act of Union in 1801. After the Irish Rebellion in 1798, the British Cabinet decided that the answer for the Irish question is a union between Great Britain and Ireland. The Irish Parliament was to be demolished, and Ireland was to be represented at the Parliament in London, by 4 spiritual peers, 28 temporal peers, and 100 members of the House of Commons. Britain argued, that the union would both strengthen the connection between the two countries, and provide Ireland with an opportunity of economic developments. The act obviously met strong resistance in the Irish Parliament, but nevertheless Britain passed the act, which came into effect on the first of January, 1801. But the title can also be interpreted as sexual act, an act of union, between a man and a woman. In this metaphorical interpretation, Great Britain
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