Modernism In The Second Coming

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In the poem ‘The Second Coming’, but Irish poet and dramatist, William Butler Yeats, the form and metaphors used foreshadow certain preoccupations of the Twentieth Century Modernism. Modernism can be defined as a style or movement in the arts, such as poetry, that aims to depart significantly from classical and traditional forms. ‘The Second Coming’ can be viewed as a prophetic poem that envisions the end of the Christian era and the intense birth of a new age. From the beginning of the poem, through the use of the poems title, ‘The Second Coming’, the reader immediately is presented with a bible reference to the reappearance of Christ on earth – as prophesied in Matthew 24 and the Revelations of St John the Baptist. This ‘second coming’ will be accompanied by an Apocalypse and the divine Last Judgement. In conjunction with this reference from the title, the title also suggests a new manifestation of God to man. In light of this, it can be argued that the poem is not only viewed as a ‘second coming’ of Christ himself, but of a new figure – one who is cruel, inhuman and merciless. The figure will also seem to represent the new ear as Christ symbolized the old.…show more content…
Yeats poem is seen to be written in rough iambic pentameter, making it fundamentally written in blank verse - even though it seems to be more so a free verse with frequent heavy stresses and a loose meter. It does not seem to follow a particular formal tradition, with the 22 lines being divided into two separate stanzas. Likewise, the rhyme scheme is similar to that of the type of poem – being hap-hazardous. Apart from the two couplets with which the poem opens, being “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, [t]he falcon cannot hear the falconer” (1 & 2), there are only coincidental rhymes in the poems – such as “man” (14) and “sun”
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