The Second Coming Questions and Answers
by William Butler Yeats

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Please give the explanation of the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats.  

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Yeats writes this poem after World War I.  The conflict had left Europe completely ravaged, cut adrift from any hope.  The victors were left to survey the immense loss of human life and transformation of their society, while the losers had to deal with this reality as well as the shame of losing.  Both sides began to understand that the principles and ideas which guided them into war had been tested, and to a certain extent, deemed false.  In this vacuum where disbelief and a lack of faith began to permeate Europe of the 1920s.  In this, Yeats writes his poem.  The first stanza reveals a world where disorder and disunity reign supreme.  The elements that used to define consciousness, such as "the falcon" heeding the words of "the falconer" are absent.  The idea of unity and symmetry has been supplanted with a reality where "the center cannot hold."  This condition ends with a vision of good being silenced while "the worst are filled with passionate intensity."  The second...

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