Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Master Thesis

« Passionate Intensity » : Commitment in William Butler Yeats' poetry

Abstract : William Butler Yeats' commitment can be divided into four kinds of commitment: politics, culture, love and art. Politics is the most obvious one, as he was committed to Irish Nationalism at the beginning of his career. His early political poems are striking. But his views evolved with time, he grew more undemocratic at the end of his life, supporting Mussolini and the Irish Blue Shirts, a fascist organization. However he remained a true Irish patriot. He was called "Cultural Nationalist" as he was committed to culture first. His poems were rich with references to the Greek mythology, to the Christian mythology and to the Irish mythology. He had many influences including Blake, Shelley, Dante or Rossetti. Love is the quest for the missing object; to Yeats it was the most important source of inspiration. The unrequited love for Maud Gonne dominated his poetry. But he also had other lovers, and his wife and kids, symbols of stability. Finally commitment to art is perhaps the most important, as the Byzantium poem show; art was to Yeats a way to reach immortality. His will to attain perfection in his art was remarkable. These four kinds of commitment are linked and work together.
Document type :
Master Thesis
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [3 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Uga - Ufr de Langues Étrangères <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - 1:15:19 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 11:36:18 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 12:44:43 AM


  • HAL Id : dumas-01172392, version 1


Olivier Maffeis. « Passionate Intensity » : Commitment in William Butler Yeats' poetry. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2015. ⟨dumas-01172392⟩



Record views


Files downloads