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Mythology in W. B. Yeast's Early Poetry

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Mythology in W. B. Yeast's Early Poetry

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Abstract

Because Irish myth and folklore had been suppressed by church doctrine and British control of school system, W.B.Yeats used his poetry as a tool for re-educating the Irish population about their heritage and as a strategy for developing Irish nationalism. Thus the participation of Yeats in the Irish political system had its origins in his interest in Irish myth and folklore. Yeats retold entire folktales in epic poems and plays and used fragments of stories in shorter poems. Moreover, he presented poems which deal with subjects, images, and themes called from folklore. Most important, Yeats infused his poetry with a rich sense of Irish culture. Even poems that do not deal explicitly with subjects from myth retain powerful tinges of indigenous Irish culture. Yeats often borrowed word selection, verse form, and patterns of imagery directly from traditional Irish myth and folklore.

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