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Wild Swans At Coole Argumentative

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“Wild Swans at Coole” was written in the later stage of Yeats’s poetic life at the age of 51; 19 years after his first visit to Coole Park. Yeats is possibly seen to be reminiscent of his times as a young man with the world ahead of him as he compares himself to the majestic swans. His envy and appreciation of the swan can be seen to reflect on his love and experiences, and the true nature of Yeats. Additionally, the uncertain future of the swans and the doubt of their existence later on could suggest how mysterious and unpredictable life is and that there is a lack constants in life.

These broad themes are also present in Yeats’s earlier poems such as “The Stolen Child” where human experiences are seen to be taken away by the fairies. Also, the theme of mystery is shared in the image of the gyres in multiple poems. However, the themes in “Wild Swans at Coole” are also quite different to some poems which reflect on Yeats’s conflicted writing and his experiences in life. The theme of the beauty and mystery of life is explored throughout the poem. Yeats is seen to be in awe of the swans and their brilliance.

Their sheer beauty makes Yeats appreciate life which can possibly be seen by the phrase “Delight men’s eyes”. This shows the beauty of life because Yeats feels humbled and lucky to be able to witness such amazing creatures. Moreover, use of the word “Delight” suggests a pleasurable experience, one which Yeats would like to witness again. Yeats also presents the beauty of life through the vivid description of his visits to the park as he reminisces. The use of the active voice for the season of “autumn” and putting himself in the passive shows that he accepts the splendour of autumn lets it overwhelm him.

Also, the use of the word “shore” creates a sense of natural beauty. The shore is a point where two things meet which could perhaps be Yeats and nature. This emphasises his appreciation for life because he feels one with nature and hence a sense of inner peace. However, even though there is beauty in the word “shore”, Yeats also shows a sense of mystery. There is an element of uncertainty and limitlessness at the “shore” hence portraying the mysteries beyond the horizon which await him.

Also, the time period of “twilight” suggests the cusp of change which possibly emphasis mystery as the change is uncertain and cannot be predicted. Additionally, the insecurity displayed through the rhetoric question; “To find that they have flown away? ” can be seen to show that nothing is everlasting and all beauties in life may not last. These themes of beauty and mystery are similarly seen in “The Stolen Child”, one of Yeats’s earlier poems. The element of the ethereal fairies whose identities remain uncertain but live in a mystical and magical world creates a similar conflict between mystery and beauty.

The detailed description of the “lake” and the “rocky highlands” suggests untouched and unexplored land however; the “drowsy rats” suggests contamination and intoxication hence making the reader think twice because the fairies. However, in “September 1913” life is considered as easily replaceable due to the semantic field of death. The constant repetition of “O’Leary in the grave” can possibly be seen as Yeats trying to show that life isn’t considered worth living. This is further emphasis by Yeats belittling their sacrifice and almost stating it as madness to show that there is no beauty and reward in life.

The Wild Swans at Coole” has an overarching theme of love as Yeats is in love with the swans in the park as they remind him of when he “trod with a lighter tread” as his first visit to the park was at 32 years of age. Hence, the swans allowing him to remember better times can be inferred as Yeats seeing an image of him in the swans. His love for the swans is further emphasised by the lyrical song, ballad, like structure through the use of iambic metres and a complex a-b-c-b-d-d rhyme scheme.

The purpose of the ballad is there to tell a story and Yeats uses this to tell the reader about his story of change and love in the swans. Also, the love for the swans is shown by the romanticism that Yeats shows as he remembers. This is seen by the phrase “Nine-and- fifty swans”. The fact that Yeats still has clear knowledge of how many swans there were and still are, can show pure love. Moreover, the structure of the phrase being “nine-and-fifty” rather than simply “fifty-nine” is a more musical and romantic which emphasises Yeats’s love. However, Yeats feels envy because of the swans.

This is due to fact that they have “lover[s]” while Yeats was still unable to consummate his love with Maud Gonne. This is emphasised by the phrase “My heart is sore” showing that watching the swans causes him pain because they have everything that he doesn’t. Similarly, in “The Fisherman” Yeats shows his love for the Fisherman as he is amazed by his simplicity and his achievement of inner peace. This is seen by the phrase “I shall have him written him one” shows that Yeats wants to commemorate his feeling towards the Fisherman by dedicating a poem to him.

Also, in “Easter 1916” Yeats doubts love for the country and the efforts of all the martyrs by questioning the worth of their attempts. This is shown by the constant questioning in the last stanza as Yeats could be feeling that in the end nothing is worth loving, and this could be due to his failures with Maud Gonne. Similarly to this, in “Broken Dreams” Yeats despises Maud Gonne and shows that she is no longer the one who he wants to love. His exasperation is seen by him pointing out flaws such as “small hands” to show that she is no longer perfection to him and hence his love for her is gone.

Finally, Yeats shows human experiences in “Wild Swans at Coole” through the emotions and memories which he has experienced at the park. He describes his time there through a very sensual experience; this is seen by the “bell-beat of the wings”, “paddle in the cold”, “I saw, before I had finished”. The senses are a clear way of showing the experiences that Yeats had. The plosive sound of “b” in the “bell-beat” wings creates a distinctive sound as to what Yeats heard. Moreover, the harsh sounds of plosive words perhaps reflect on the reality of life as being painful and ruthless.

Additionally, “paddle in the cold” tests the sense of touch and feel. Also, the idea of “paddling in the cold” can depict the resilience needed in life to survive and that’s the experience that life gives you. Also, the “paddling in the cold” suggests that in life there is an element of perseverance; something which Yeats has been through. Finally, the final sense of vision is seen through “I saw, before I had finished”. The idea of Yeats not being to finish what he was looking at, can suggest that there is too much to experience in life are infinite and there are no boundaries.

Similarly this is seen other poems as in “The Stolen Child” the experiences that the child will be missing out on as seen by “kettle on the hob”. This can perhaps signify that experiences in life can be simplistic yet amazing. However, in poems like “The Second Coming” life experiences are horrifying. This is seen by the quote “The darkness drops again” as it shows that darkness is imminent in life; further emphasised by “again” suggesting that it has happened before. Overall, the mystery, beauty of life is an overarching theme in the poem “The Wild Swans at Coole”.

Yeats uses the rhetoric question to suggesting the uncertainty of life and of the swans. Moreover, the beauty is also depicted from the swans as Yeats is truly in awe of their majestic nature. Moreover, the theme of love is seen by Yeats’s love for the swans however, there is envy as he feels that they have too much love in comparison to his love life. Additionally, the human experiences are present through the sensual description that Yeats has experienced. There are multiple other poems which share similar views as “The Wild Swans at Coole” however, some have very different views and completely obscure in comparison to this one.

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