Presentation on theme: "W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) ► Poet, dramatist, mystic, essayist, critic. ► Widely considered to be one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century."— Presentation transcript:
W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) ► Poet, dramatist, mystic, essayist, critic. ► Widely considered to be one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. ► Founded the Irish Literary Theatre. ► Received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.
Overview of Yeats ► Important member of the Abbey theater group, Gaelic Revival, and Celtic Twilight. ► Pretty political at one point in his life but later rejects most political causes to follow a more aesthetic and philosophical path. ► Poems touch on desire for Irish Identity, Irish Mythology, Culture, Irish Politics, and a healthy distrust of man-made systems.
A Family of Artists ► William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Dublin. His father was a lawyer of sorts who turned Pre-Raphaelite painter. In 1867 the family followed him to London and settled in Bedford Park. In 1881 (Yeats = 16) they returned to Dublin, where Yeats studied at the Metropolitan School of Art.
Father, Son, and Brother A portriat of W.B. Yeats (painted by his father) A painting by Jack B Yeats (W.B. Yeats’s brother)
Identity Crisis – or -- Contrasts and Balance ► While Yeats was born in Ireland’s East, some of his early days and later family jaunts were spent in Sligo (Which he sees as his home). ► While he is part of the Protestant Ascendancy, he and his family support the Irish Nationalist movements.
Changing Interests ► As a student at the Metropolitan School of Art, Yeats was uninspired. While there he met the poet, dramatist, and painter George Russell (1867-1935). Russell was interested in mysticism, and his search inspired Yeats to explore reincarnation, the supernatural, and Oriental mysticism.
A Writer is Born ► Yeats made his literary debut in 1885, when his first poems were published in The Dublin University Review. In 1887 the family returned to Bedford Park (London), and Yeats devoted himself to writing the poetry that would fill his first few volumes.
Maud Gonne ► Yeats met the love of his life, Maud Gonne, in 1889. She was an actress who was financially independent and she was also an Irish revolutionary who became a major figure in Yeats’s life and work. Yeats wrote poetry for her, asked her to marry him multiple times, and many biographers claim he worshipped her. When she married another in 1903, Yeats wrote “No Second Troy.”
A Different Agenda ► Maud Gonne influenced Yeats to join the revolutionary organization the Irish Republican Brotherhood. By 1896 Yeats began work reforming the Irish Literary Society, and then the National Literary Society in Dublin, which aimed to promote the New Irish Library.
Lady Gregory And the Abbey Theater ► In 1897, Yeats met Lady Gregory. Yeats, Gregory, Synge, and others founded the Irish Literary Theatre. Lady Gregory J.M. Synge The Old Abbey Theater
Later Life ► In early 1917 Yeats bought Thoor Ballyle, a derelict Norman stone tower near Coole Park. After restoring it, the tower became his summer home and a central symbol in his later poetry. In 1917 he married Georgie Hyde-Lees.
Getting Personal and Writing Much ► Yeats’s later work is more personal and his subjects include his children and the experience of growing old. Many suggest his greatest poetry is written late in his life.