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What is the theme of the poem, 'No Second Troy'?

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sarangij | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 17, 2008 at 7:14 PM via web

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What is the theme of the poem, 'No Second Troy'?

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mocchan | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 19, 2010 at 6:23 AM (Answer #2)

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The main theme is that he is trying to come to terms with the fact that Maud Gonne did not love him like a lover but rather like a friend. He is forgiving her, although she did nothing, for being so beautiful that he could not fail to love her. Yeats, realising he was silly to love, wrote her a poem which describes her as a leader of simply men unworthy of her: "Had they but courage equal to desire?" which Yeats believe they didn't possess because he believed them to be "ignorant men".
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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted December 19, 2010 at 8:10 AM (Answer #3)

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I'm terribly sorry but William Butler Yeats is 'bigging himself up' here. Whilst I love most of his poetry, poems in which he puts himself above other suitors of Maud's really wind me up. Maud had a whole plethora of 'moths circling her flame' and sadly for Yeats, he was just one of them. Maud had other fish to fry, and it was arrogant to suggest that she would have caved in and accepted one of them but for a little more pushiness!

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