# The Second Coming Questions and Answersby William Butler Yeats

### Recently Answered Questions

• 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...

• The Second Coming
Falconry is a sport traditionally associated with the aristocracy. With regards to "The Second Coming," the general critical and scholarly consensus is that "the falconer" symbolizes the old social...

• 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...

• 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...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
The critical consensus is that the falconer refers to the old aristocracy, society's natural rulers, and that the falcon refers to the common people—those who've traditionally taken orders from...

• 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,...

• The Second Coming
The predominant theme in "The Second Coming" is that of a culture or society coming unhinged. Yeats uses apocalyptic language and imagery to suggest that society has reached, or is nearing, the...

• The Second Coming
The world "gyre" means spiral. In the first lines of the poem, the widening gyre is not just the circle or spiral the falcon makes flying in the air, but the idea that a cycle of history is...

• The Second Coming
I have moved this question to this group, as the reference to the word "gyre" obviously refers to this famous poem by W. B. Yeats and its first line. The poem concerns the poet's prediction of the...

• The Second Coming
Your original question asked a number of questions. Enotes only allows you to ask one question at a time, so please do not ask multiple questions in future. Key to understanding this poem is the...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
This 1920 poem, between the World Wars and in the midst of Ireland’s political struggles, brings one of the most striking images to the universal historical cycle of chaos-adjustment-balance: The...

• 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...

• 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...

• 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...

• 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...

• 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...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
Yeats wrote this poem to express the anxiety he and others felt at the end of World War I, the sense that a new age was coming in world history and not necessarily a good one. The old order was...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
Yeats provided a note for his poem "The Second Coming." The first line ends with the word "gyre," and Yeats explained that word with this statement: "The end of an age, which always receives the...

• The Second Coming
In order to discuss the important themes in the poem "The Second Coming" by Irish Poet William Butler Yeats, you will need to conduct some research in several areas, doing some background reading....

• 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...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
The poem The Second Comingby William Butler Yeats invokes both traditional Christian iconography and a mystical account of the world set forth by Yeats himself in his book A Vision, which...

• 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....

• The Second Coming
Allusion: The title of Yeats' poem, "The Second Coming," is a Biblical allusion to the return of Christ in the Book of Revelations and the judgment of man. Particularly in the second and final...

• The Second Coming
I moved this to the Yeats poem because the image is derived from his work. In "The Second Coming," Yeats discusses what he feels best describes the modern setting with a series of images that...

• The Second Coming
This Yeats poem does everything a poem is meant to do. As “concentrated word magic” the poem speaks to a deep-felt anxiety in all Christians, that Christ’s appearance on Earth has somehow failed to...

• The Second Coming
The basic idea behind this poem is probably best summed up by the phrase "things fall apart." The speaker in the poem seems to be worrying that the world is getting to be out of control -- the...

• The Second Coming
With this line, Yeats was suggesting that the foundations of Western culture, in particular Christianity, were falling apart. In the wake of the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution,...

• The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats' poem, "The Second Coming", relies heavily on two separate systems of allusion and religious symbolism. The first is Christianity, especial the New Testament Book of...

• The Second Coming
"The Second Coming" is a warning. Yeats views Western civilization as having lost its way, hence "things fall apart." He paints this development in apocalyptic terms, ending the poem by evoking...

• 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...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
"The Second Coming," published in 1919 just after the end of the First World War (though the Allies and Axis powers were still negotiating the terms of Germany's surrender) is one of Yeats' most...

• The Second Coming
I think that there are several points that can help to form a thesis statement from Yeats' poem. Yet, without more specificity, you will have to piece things together. I think that one potential...

• The Second Coming
There aren't really any quotes in "The Second Coming" in which Yeats directly says he wants to prevent change. However, the poem seems to fear coming change in general and so, while it would be...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
In "The Second Coming," W.B. Yeats explores the Second Coming, a traditional Christian idea that prophesies the return of Christ and the salvation of all true believers. However, Yeats turns this...

• 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...

• 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...

• 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...

• The Second Coming
I think by far the most profound image of the poem that it begins with is of the falcon turning and turning in an ever-widening gyre as it seeks to escape the control and influence of its...

• The Second Coming
Like Yeats, we are living in a time of rapid change. Like Yeats, many of us are deeply concerned about the consequences of those changes, which are impossible for us to foresee with much certainty....

• 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...

• The Second Coming
I just re-read this poem again--several times, actually--and each time it seemed more disturbing. It was written after World War I, but it might as well have been written last year, last month,...