Biography, Easter Uprising | Poetry of William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was born in Dublin and educated there and in London. His father was a lawyer and a well-known portrait painter. William Butler Yeats was one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

  • What Do I Need to Know About Yeats?

    William Butler Yeats What Do I Need to Know About Yeats
    William Butler Yeats What Do I Need to Know About Yeats
    • Biography
    • Contextual Values
    • Themes
    • Possible Genres
    • Language Techniques
    • Poetic Structure
    • Critics’ Essays
  • Biography

    • William Butler Yeats Biography
      William Butler Yeats Biography

      Born 1865 – Died 1939.

    • His father was an Irish Nationalist but his mother believed Ireland should remain under Britain.
    • Yeats’ family moved between London and Ireland in order to study visual arts.
    • In London, he joined the Rhymers Club, meeting other writers e.g. Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.
    • In 1899 he published his first collection The Wanderings of Usheen and other Poems.
    • He was often homesick and helped compile books of Irish fairy tales and verse.
    • In 1889 he met his muse and unrequited love: poet, feminist, actress, and revolutionary Maud Gonne, who worked with him at the National Theatre of Ireland.
    • In 1903, he was a successful poet and playwright and toured the USA.
    • In 1917 he married George Hyde Lees who fostered his interest in mysticism and automatic writing.
    • She helped him write A Vision (1925) which explained his bizarre philosophy of gyres which becomes symbolism in his poetry, especially The Second Coming.
    • Some of his friends participated in the Easter Uprising of 1916; he wrote poetry in response to this.
    • In his later years he was elected to the Irish Senate and in 1923 received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • Contextual Values: What was the Easter Uprising?

    • William Butler Yeats Contextual Values
      William Butler Yeats Contextual Values
    • A mini-revolution staged by Irish republicans during Easter Week, 1916.
    • They wanted to end British rule in Ireland.
    • The revolutionaries led by Patrick Pearse and James Connolly seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the Irish Republic independent.
    • The Rising was suppressed after seven days of fighting and its leaders were court-martialled and executed.
    • The rebellion did bring republicanism back to the forefront of Irish politics, a movement which was eventually successful in 1921.

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