The Second Coming Questions and Answers

The Second Coming

W. B. Yeats's poem “The Second Coming” presents a horrifying scene. The world is spinning out of control like a falcon who can no longer hear its master. Everything is falling apart, descending...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2021, 9:28 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

As part of his somewhat esoteric belief system, Yeats believed that historical change could be conceived in terms of gyres. These are historical epochs, lasting for roughly 2,000 years or so. To...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2021, 10:44 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming” opens with Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer Published in 1920, this poem reflects the political and...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2020, 5:33 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

In order to understand the basic theme of the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats, it is important to put the work into historical context. Yeats wrote it in 1919, just after...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2019, 2:37 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

Yeats's “The Second Coming” concerns the potentially bloody and disruptive transition from one historical epoch to another. Yeats believes that the Christian era is coming to a close, to be...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2020, 12:11 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats penned "The Second Coming" in 1919, at the end of the First World War (the "War to End All Wars," presumably). Mechanized warfare had come into its own, and Germany was subdued...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2015, 6:14 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

In his foreboding 1921 poem "The Second Coming," Yeats theorizes that a gentler era of history, ushered in by the birth of Jesus, is coming to an end. Instead of the second coming of Christ,...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2019, 6:43 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

In this poem, the speaker seems to suggest that the world, after the first coming of Jesus Christ, has gone terribly wrong. "Things [have] fall[en] apart" and "anarchy" has been "loosed upon the...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2019, 6:16 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

As you might have noticed, William Butler Yeats’s poem is not replete with positive imagery or allusions. In Yeats’s poem, it seems like things are falling apart. In fact, Yeats says that in the...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2020, 2:59 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Second Coming

When one writes a critical appreciation of a poem, one should identify the poem's central purpose (its "meaning") and the devices and elements it uses in order to convey this purpose. It can also...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2019, 1:38 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

Literary devices in "The Second Coming" include the following: antithesis: Antithesis is when two contrasting ideas or images are put together. A central motif of this poem is that the second...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2017, 12:09 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats's poem "The Second Coming" can be quite confusing for readers who don't understand the poet's personal religious and philosophical leanings. Many readers familiar with...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2019, 3:54 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Second Coming

The falconer in "The Second Coming" is generally thought to represent Christ. The Christian historical epoch, or "gyre" as Yeats calls it, is drawing to a close. In its stead will come a new era...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2017, 12:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Two important images that occur early in William Butler Yeats’s poem concern the falcon and the gyre. The bird is in flight but separated from its handler. Later in the poem, another bird is...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2019, 4:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

There are many examples of symbolism in the poem. Remember that Yeats is writing this as the First World War has ended. Its shattering of Europe both physically and morally has left permanent...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2010, 7:21 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

Falconry was a sport traditionally associated with kings and the aristocracy. It was a sport of gentlemen, not something to be associated with the common run of humanity. It's no accident, then,...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2019, 8:01 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

The main idea in "The Second Coming" can seem elusive, especially because the poem ends with a complicated question that takes up the last five lines of the poem. However, an understanding of W. B....

Latest answer posted January 28, 2016, 11:52 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

The poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats is certainly a poem that reflects the era in which it was written. In Yeats's viewpoint, things had become so chaotic, violent, and confusing...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2021, 4:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

The second stanza, if anything, is more bleak and uncompromising than the first and is incredible in the way that it paints a horrifying picture of the future that the speaker anticipates will...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2011, 7:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Yeats had a rather strange, esoteric idea of historical change. In very broad terms, he believed that history developed in a specific pattern which he visualized according to gyres or spirals. Each...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2017, 5:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

The challenge in the question is that there is not merely one thematic aspect to the poem. Yeats' poem is so intricate because it represents so many different themes within it. On one hand, there...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2012, 3:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats's line—part of which would inspire the title of Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart—speaks to the First World War's disruption of previously held, self-evident truths....

Latest answer posted April 14, 2019, 10:11 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

Yeats' poem "The Second Coming" is a description of the state of the world following World War I using apocalyptic imagery. The poem is filled with images of chaos, pessimism, and loss of faith....

Latest answer posted December 31, 2010, 9:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

I think that one can find many examples of Yeats employing symbolism throughout his work. Since the question is asking for how it is used, I would focus on the symbols present in my favorite Yeats...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2011, 7:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

"The Second Coming" is an example of a modernist poem because of its themes of despair and foreboding. Yeats wrote this poem in 1919, a period in the direct aftermath of World War I and the Russian...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2021, 12:59 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

I think that there can be many interpretations to this particular poem. At the second stanza, I don't necessarily see a "happy time" as much as a potentially hopeful vision. The idea of "Surely...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2010, 12:58 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Second Coming

Written in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution, Yeats' "The Second Coming" is about a dramatic shift in history. The first line is a geometric image of one era spinning...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2013, 3:47 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

I think that the reality that enveloped Europe after World War I represented on factor that influenced Yeats' writing. Emerging from the war, Yeats and many other thinkers were convinced that the...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2011, 1:44 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

One of the most interesting aspects of "The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats is his use of dark imagery to convey the state of the world: Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2013, 5:38 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

The "vast image" that the speaker of this poem sees is described in the second stanza, and is clearly a terrifying sight for him. Now how this "image" is described: a waste of desert sand; A shape...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2013, 6:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

"The Second Coming" was written in 1919 in the aftermath of World War One. In the first stanza, the speaker describes the condition of the world as anarchic, corrupt, immoral, and hopeless, and in...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2020, 9:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Yeats published "The Second Coming" in 1920 as part of his larger collection Michael Robartes and the Dancer, which also included Easter, 1916," Yeats' contemplation on the results of the Easter...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2015, 2:14 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Yeats wrote "The Second Coming" in 1919, in the wake of the cataclysm that was World War I. Additionally, Ireland, his homeland, was in the midst of a violent uprising against British rule, and the...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2017, 3:35 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats believed that historical patterns could be conceptualized by means of gyres, large spiral shapes that emphasized the circular motion of history. Each gyre represented roughly...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2020, 9:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

If the questioner is merely asking for an explication of the lines "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity": Yeats is referring to sides in the Irish...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2015, 8:17 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

If we agree that modernism in poetry can be characterized generally by the poet's alienation from his society, the avoidance of naturalistic representation and the use of fragmentary images, often...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2011, 2:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

I would say that the weakening of Christian values is present throughout the first stanza of the poem. Yeats' construction of the world is one in which the unifying principles previously held are...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2012, 10:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats was not a liberal, but in these lines, he offers a somewhat sympathetic, but peculiarly devastating, critique of liberal values. Liberalism is regarded here as a general...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2020, 1:13 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

From one perspective, the word "gyre" is the most significant word in William Butler Yeats's poem "Second Coming." If one chooses to interpret the poem based on the poet's deliberate choice of...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2018, 1:42 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Every line is important in "The Second Coming," but some are more important than others. The following lines seem to be especially important in conveying Yeats' overall message: The best lack all...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2020, 11:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

I have to offer a different answer than the first one posted. Yeats does not write this poem about the Second World War. He writes the poem in 1920, when the scars of the First World War were...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2011, 4:49 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Yeats starts his famous poem "The Second Coming" with the image of a falcon turning about in the sky, far away from the falconer who released it. The falcon continues to turn and turn further away...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2009, 9:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

In these lines from “The Second Coming,” Yeats is describing the catastrophic effects of the breakdown of the current period of history. This period, represented by a gyre or spiral, has been in...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2021, 6:43 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Part of what makes Yeats' poem so powerful is that he plays into and yet rejects the binary opposition that is so much a part of Western intellectual currents. Had Yeats taken the traditional...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2010, 11:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

In this poem Yeats connects to both modern and ancient aspects of Western civilization. The first stanza characterizes what was happening in the West during the first years of the 20th century. The...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2016, 9:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

Since it was written over a century ago, "The Second Coming" has continually captured the public imagination. In part this can be explained by Yeats' elliptical writing style: the poet's allusions...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2022, 5:45 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

"The Second Coming" by Yeats presents a second coming of a different kind; different from the second coming Christian tradition presents. The poem presents social upheaval and nightmarish violence....

Latest answer posted April 27, 2010, 10:51 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Second Coming

The fundamental difference in William Butler Yeats’s poem can be found in the penultimate line, where he queries the future birth of the “rough beast.” Through the first half, the speaker puts...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2019, 10:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

This is one of the most profound poems imaginable. It takes a great deal of patience and deliberation to explicate. However, upon doing so, I guarantee that it will be a poem whose words and...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2010, 9:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Second Coming

In his pre-apocalyptic poem "The Second Coming," William Butler Yeats focuses on the menacing chaos of the present, the looming horror of the future, and his personal view of the progress of...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2019, 1:59 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Showing 1-50 of 63