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“The Second Coming”: dire prophecies.

But haven’t there always been prophecies of The End?

But it’s not the end: it is the decline of one age, and the rise of another.
But what other? What rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? (And now you understand that allusion that a scholar might make.)


Shakespeare vis-vis hip-hop

A TED talk exploring syllabication and beat and substance.
Bear through the quiz and listen.

The symbol system of “The Second Coming.”

A brief scan of the graphics on this site offers an idea of a “gyre” as a two-thousand year cycle.


For an idea of how many essays have been penned about Yeats’ symbolism and “The Second Coming,” this is a link to a 394-page book of essays that is quite in-depth.


Lastly, look at the wikipedia entry to see an example of how wiki can be quite tepid. (Even Schmoop beats them in this particular case.)

The Second Coming


The Poetry of Repetion.

You should recognize it.


Understanding poetry: repetition and parallelism

Repetition and parallelism—the use of similar constructions within the sentence—need further expansion.  The queen of figurative language, repetition of sound or word or phrase slips from poetry to prose to speeches of art or urgency.  Memorize this terminology, then begin to see how the great writers and orators employ it.

anaphora, the same words open the clause series
e.g.,  What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain?
epistrophe, the same words close a clause series
e.g., When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child
symploce, the use of both anaphora and epistrophe:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

asyndeton, the omission of conjunction
e.g., Veni, vidi, vici.
polysyndeton, the repetition of conjunction
e.g., …men and women who spoke the language of duty and morality and loyalty and obligation.
antithesis, opposition in construction
e.g., Many are called, few are chosen.
Man proposes, God disposes.
climax, clauses ascending in importance
e.g., …three things endure: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Additionally, there are different forms of asyndeton for the acutely-focused student:
apokoinu: …there was no breeze came through the door.
parataxis: I weep for Adonais—he is dead.
zeugma: Mary likes chocolate, John vanilla.