www.lauramatheny.com

www.lauramatheny.com

Leda and the Swan Abby, Lola, Veronica, Jaanhavi, Sonali The Poem A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?

And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower[20] And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop? Activity

Draw a swan on a notecard Activity Now rip it into pieces (not too small) Set aside for later Context Leda - in greek legend she is raped by Zeus, who was in the form of a swan

She lays eggs and her children hatch from them, the poem does not focus on this Written in 1924 a year after the Irish civil war Written during Yeatss later political/modernist phase of poetry but the poem has some aspects of romanticism More of a global perspective rather than focusing on Ireland

Fun fact: Yeats was the first person Fun Facts about the poeM In Greek mythology, Leda was the wife of Tyndareus, king of Sparta. Zeus fell in love with Leda and used to visit her, disguised as a swan. Leda was the mother of Castor, Pollux, Helen of Troy, and Clytemnestra. She is represented in art with a swan by her side. Dominant Effect

In Leda and the Swan, William Butler Yeats uses mythological allusions to show the irony of beautiful art stemming from horrific experiences, highlighting how personal expression can be used to resurrect the world from ruins. Summary Chart Ideas Modernism Ledas weakness/point of

collapse Art influences art Art stems from disaster Love stems from destruction Techniques Allusions to Troy Motif of violence (vivid imagery) Bird imagery Symbol of Swan

Evocative language/style Rhetorical Questions Fun fact: Yeatss brother was Irelands first Olympic medalist Structure 14 line poem broken up into 4 stanzas written in iambic pentameter Speaker is ambiguous to emphasize the theme that art influences art The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFG EFG to show the

progression of the motif of violence throughout the poem First 8 lines of the poem are heavily focused on Ledas sensory impressions of rape: staggering girl thighs caressed terrified vague fingers loosening thighs conveyed through Ledas weaknesses to create a mood of helplessness The last 6 lines of the poem focus on the allusion to the burning of Troy: The broken wall, the burning roof and tower/And Agamemnon dead, Yeats uses horrifying diction How does the shift from the first 6

lines to the last 8 lines of the poem impact the message/meaning of the poem? Allusions to Troy Yeats alludes to The Odyssey of Homer throughout this poem to emphasize its importance in terms of existing disasters influencing Yeats poetry The broken wall, the burning roof and tower/And Agamemnon dead Allusion to Agamemnon- a greek hero who had died during

the Trojan War Setting the scene to one that has faced destruction Yeats includes three rhetorical questions in this poem One being the last line of the poem, where the reader is getting dropped like Leda is dropped to the ground Creating a sympathetic mood between Leda and the reader How does yeats use homers the odyssey to convey meaning in the poem?

Motif of violence Example: The broken wall, the burning roof and tower Uses the legend of the rape of Leda to show art stems from terrible experiences - major theme Art also stems from other art The allusion to troy was originally written in The Odyssey by Homer If that piece did not exist this form of art would not exist Art can be used to help the world Art stems from violence/destruction and other art

How does the theme of destruction relate to the message of the poem? Symbol of the swan/Bird imagery Yeats uses bird imagery from the beginning of the poem to introduce the Swan as a symbol for the mythological figure, Zeus great wings Feathered glory indifferent beak

Repetition of beating after wings and then later after heart draws a parallel between the bird and Leda Yeats primarily uses Swans as a symbol for art to show the irony that beautiful art stems from horrifying experiences Swans are usually considered to be a calm beautiful animal, however Yeats chose to illustrate a disturbing scene with them to show the degradation of artistic spirit in Ireland Evocative language/style Vivid rape imagery creates a dark mood by the use of powerful diction

Sudden blow Staggering girl Loosening thighs Ledas weakness is conveyed through powerful diction shudder versus her destruction burning in the following line Rhetorical questions in the second stanza introduce a questioning mood to the reader as Yeats ironically draws parallels between Swans and the rape scene How can those terrified vague fingers push/The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush,/But feel the

strange heart beating where it lies? How does yeats use horrifying imagery in the rape scene to fuel the creation of art? Activity part 2 Take the drawing of the swan that you ripped apart earlier, and try to use your table groups pieces to put together a

bigger swan (If a swan does not work, put together any form of new art) Activity explained First, we asked you guys to draw a swan on a piece of paper (creating a form of art) Just like the Odyssey and the legend of Leda and the swan, were already created before Yeats wrote this poem As you guys ripped the art, it became a disaster of different pieces

Finally, the disaster was re-assembled into a new form of art Conveying the central message of this poem: Art influences art Art stems from disaster You were able to create new art from an already existing piece of art Similar to how Yeats was able to use the Odyssey and the EGG-Xit slip Answer this question on a notecard:

How does Yeats use bird imagery in Leda and the Swans compared to in his other poems? Poems that have bird imagery: The Wild Swans at Coole September 1913 Sailing to Byzantium Sources Anirudh, and Anirudh. W. B. Yeats | 10 Facts About The Great Irish Poet. Learnodo

Newtonic, 27 Jan. 2016, learnodo-newtonic.com/w-b-yeats-facts. The Editors of Encyclopdia Britannica. Leda. Encyclopdia Britannica, Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc., 15 May 2009, www.britannica.com/topic/LedaGreek-mythology. Editors, The. William Butler Yeats 101 by The Editors. Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/70241/william-butler-yeats-101. Facts About All. Leda (Mythology), factspage.blogspot.com/2013/08/ledamythology.html. Leda and the Swan Historical Context. BookRags, BookRags, www.bookrags.com/studyguide-ledaswan/historicalcontext.html#gsc.tab=0.

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