In the last two lines, Leda seems to recognize the power that overtook her. It remains a baffling question, with no clear answer. Because in raping Leda, Zeus made her conceive Helen of Troy, whose beauty would bring about the outbreak of the Trojan War.
Why Should I Care? Hilda Doolittle also wrote a poem called "Leda" insuggested to be from the perspective of Leda. Reincarnation, nineteenth century occultism, Irish and Greek mythology, European politics and supernatural system fascinate Yeats which will later inspire his poetry and drama.
The description of the sexual action going on makes it seem almost beautiful, as if Leda had given her consent. As well as giving birth to Helen of Troy, Leda will also conceive Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon; Clytemnestra will later kill her husband, after the Trojan War, for sacrificing their daughter in exchange for fair winds from the gods.
The writer in the second stanza conveys confusion and wonder to Leda.
The first part of the sestet is the claim related to the theme of history, and the rhetorical question in the last fragment supports the theme indirectly. Eroticism[ edit ] Leda and the Swan, Roman marble possibly reflecting a lost work by Timotheos ; restored Prado The subject undoubtedly owed its sixteenth-century popularity to the paradox that it was considered more acceptable to depict a woman in the act of copulation with a swan than with a man.
Yeats saved his best for last; he was in his 60s when he wrote this masterpiece.
He believed that civilisation progressed on a cycle, where each epoch lasted roughly two millennia. In many versions of the story, Zeus merely seduces Leda. Zeus, as the swan, only appears metaphorically. And so, everything has meaning in an in inter-related web.
Leda and the Swan A sudden blow: However the writer described the physical interaction in a sophisticated way through skilful use of rhythm and flowery descriptive words.
Both the Leonardo and Michelangelo paintings also disappeared when in the collection of the French Royal Family, and are believed to have been destroyed by more moralistic widows or successors of their owners. We see the events from her perspective. Does it suggest that Leda should have learned from her experience with Zeus, and that what follows — the Trojan War, begun because of a woman she brought into the world — is partly her fault?
These questions are rhetorical, as when we say "who would believe such a thing? Those are all big questions to ponder.
The second is a secretary who suffers a miscarriage. Benvenuto Cellini made a medallion, now in Vienna, early in his career, and Antonio Abondio one on the obverse of a medal celebrating a Roman courtesan.
For Yeats, the only salvation is the shapeliness and stillness of art. Other critics have found its depiction of rape to be tantalizing to the point of offensiveness. Reading this poem is a useful reminder of that, even while it depicts an unsavory and oft-forgotten story from the ancient world.
In modern media[ edit ] A version of the Leda and the Swan story is the foundation myth in the Canadian futuristic thriller television series Orphan Black which aired over 5 seasons from to Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
The swan in this sonnet abused its power of divine intervention. Contemporary world considers swan as a loving and tender extraordinary creature.
The "twist" of the story is that Zeus is disguised as a swan. Then he "holds her helpless breast upon his breast. We should say a word about how we might view this poem from an ethical perspective. Should Yeats have toned down the language to make it clear that what goes on in this poem is unethical in the extreme?
Ohio State University Press. Also a potent influence on his poetry was the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, whom he met ina woman equally famous for her passionate nationalist politics and her beauty.William Butler Yeats, widely considered one of the greatest poets of the English language, received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
His work was greatly influenced by the heritage and politics of Ireland. A summary of a classic Yeats poem ‘Leda and the Swan’ (published in ) is one of W.
B. Yeats’s most widely anthologised poems. The poem, which somewhat unusually for Yeats is a sonnet, is about the rape of the Greek girl Leda by the god Zeus, who has assumed the form of a swan. “Leda and the Swan” Summary The speaker retells a story from Greek mythology, the rape of the girl Leda by the god Zeus, who had assumed the form of a swan.
Leda and the Swan, sonnet by William Butler Yeats, composed inprinted in The Dial (June ), and published in the collection The Cat and the Moon and Certain Poems ().
The poem is based on the Greek mythological story of beautiful Leda, who gave birth to Helen and Clytemnestra after she was raped by Zeus in the form of a swan. Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces Leda.
According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta.
In this sonnet, Yeats retells the story of Zeus seducing Leda in a form of a swan. The writer approached the myth though full of allusions and symbolisms. Leda in Greek mythology is the queen of Sparta was being approached and seduced by Zeus in a form of a swan.Download