Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2010.33.47
집단추모의 한 양식: 예이츠의 「1916년 부활절」
동아대
원고접수일: 2010년 4월 30일, 수정일: 2010년 5월 28일, 게재확정일: 2010년 5월 30일
“Easter 1916”: A Yeatsian Mode of Group Elegy
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Abstract
Somewhat comically-described everyday lives before the Rising have no direct connection with the event itself. Behind the images from superficial meetings with sham courtesy of characters follow violent associations of death implying diverse layers of change in the realms of history, politics, Irishness and individual lives. Yeats enumerates personal characteristics of revolutionary leaders in order to hint these characteristics alone can’t transfigure historical realities. He shows us that those acquaintances whom he occasionally came across before the uprising are not directly related to the heroic act. On the other hand, he also reveals that the underlying causes of the upheaval are the very simple everyday relationship.
Above all, “Easter 1916” solves well the problem how a piece of poem acquires an impartial public voice out of secular opinions. This work is not embellished with symbolic abstruseness and therefore can be paraphrased into a comparatively easy prose writing. However, even its format change, if at all, doesn't quell its life force. The poet effectively evades a direct interpretation of the Rising that can help change the fate of the nation and so, he reconstructs the symbolic significance and context of the event into a literary masterpiece. In its form, the use of refrain emphasizing change shows directness and simplicity to conclude the verse. Moreover, Yeats frankly confesses that he was wrong in judging the victims’ heroic capability in the political aspect, but he doesn't make them appear pathetic poetic personae.
The poem extols the heroic acts of the dead in the compressed verse and at the same time reproaches their decision to cast away their own precious lives. The refrain implies changes in the world caused by the Rising, political shifts in the international relationship closely linked with independence and colonial management, and the severance of lives of people with whom the poet meet routinely everyday. That is to say, it refers to the mythological transformation of the leaders before Irish people’s eyes as well as to the historical fact that British authority made them into corpses. ‘Change’ in the refrain evokes not only the tragic death of leaders in the uprising but the significance obtained through their death as well. In this context, a completeness of change out of the glorious sacrifice is also inferred. Thus, ‘change’ indicates the tragic stasis the leaders gained through the victimization of their own lives and reveals a poetic movement from this world to eternity. The poem sublimates the leaders as national icons permanently nesting in the bosom of their compatriots even though they lost their worldly lives. In this way, Yeats elegizes the victims by blending all the matters of history, politics and the nation together into a commemorative poem. This stream of thoughts triggered by the national tragedy creates a pivotal group elegy connoting deep insight into the universal death.


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