Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2005.24.109
벤 불벤과 검은 탑: 예이츠의 절명시 두 편 연구
인제대
Ben Bulben and Black Tower: A Study of Yeats’s Two “Death Poems”
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Abstract
"Man can embody truth but he cannot know it," said Yeats a few days before his death. And this truth is embodied in the two “death poems,” "Under Ben Bulben" and "The Black Tower". How is that truth embodied? And what is its content? A close reading of the two poems gives some sort of significant answer to that question.
The truth Yeats tried to embody may be "Unity of Being", the poet's eternal pursuit. Throughout his long poetic career, wearing various masks, and in various ways, Yeats sought to accomplish its poetic embodiment. To solve multi-levelled divisions of being, Yeats sought persistently to "remake" and "renew" himself, his self as an archetype of the Irish people. "Under Ben Bulben" and "The Black Tower" suggest the poet's dream as returning to and restoring the heroic Celticism and integrating it into making Ireland.
In "Under Ben Bulben", drawing on the Celtic heroes' wisdom and strength, the poet asserts his philosophy of reincarnation and man's profane perfection, and, also, the greatness of artists' creative power. After presenting his selected history of the great artists, the poet asks the Irish poets to succeed to his poetic dream. And, then, he casts cold eyes on life, on death, renewing himself as one of the heroes of his dream.
In "The Black Tower", the poet's inner drama upon the threshold of death, the tower, his old symbol, reveals itself as a microcosm of Ireland that the poet wishes to defend against his enemies by death. In this poem, the poet does not give up his dream to the final, even if the dark and gloomy mood is dominant. Finally, for the tower's defense, the poet commits "an epic suicide", to become a legendary Irish hero himself. Thus, the poet embodies the truth he has found.

 



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