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Celtic Christianity And The Secret Rose

776 words - 4 pages

Celtic Christianity and The Secret Rose

In William Butler Yeats' The Secret Rose, the author develops his theme through choice of diction, imagery, symbolism, and scansion. Yeats' Irish background is an influential factor in terms of the tone with which he addresses religious beliefs, and an acceptable interpretation of The Secret Rose depends on one's knowledge of Celtic history and tradition.
Throughout his poem, Yeats uses a great deal of symbolism in describing the well-known events that surround the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Every line is significant in terms of how one understands the statements (and questions) Yeats is posing. The Secret Rose is in itself, a noteworthy ...view middle of the document...

Yeats' style is quite prayerful- his voice at first resembles an aged person who is seeking comfort as he reaches his final days on Earth. At the end of the poem, Yeats' voice has become one of assurance and anticipation. This change in voice is quite effective in developing the idea that living is a circular event, and death is certainly not a final destination. Furthermore, this belief is consistent with the Celtic conviction that death must come before birth in the circle of life because there must be room for new growth before it can occur.
The meter and rhyme scheme of Yeats' poem are similarly structured to coincide with the belief that life is an unending cycle. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, in pairs of rhyming couplets, and the first rhyming couplet rhymes with the final couplet as well. In returning to the original rhyme, Yeats' reinforces the belief that life will continue in a non-terminal circle.
The theme of Yeats' poem deals with the anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ, a very Christian viewpoint. However, in his writing Yeats incorporates an important part of his heritage: the Druids, an ancient order of priests that played a pivotal part in the growth of Christianity in Ireland. "In Druid vapour and make the torches dim; / Till...

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