Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.1998.9.227
Yeats의 후기시에 나타난 죽음에 대한 연구
한양대
The Significance of Death Images in Yeats’s Later Poems
,

Abstract
W.B. Yeats is a poet of constant changes. Death is characterized by the nature of fixing, fixing things as they are. Yeats fights against the forces of death. “The Tower” is an attempt to transcend the death of body by heightening the spiritual. The body is destined to death, but its spirit strives to overcome the power of death. Similarly, in “Sailing to Byzantium,” which precedes “The Tower” manifests the posturing of the poet who is in pursuit of a means to transcend death.
The belief in transcending death is not a product of a moment but the consequence of a long quest of changing his poetic self. The image of gold in “Sailing to Byzantium” has a two-fold meaning. One is the meaning of the permanence of gold itself, and the other, the meaning of a form, or the existence of form. The gold is hammered into a form. The process of forging a form is “learning.” Yeats wishes to be changed by learning, and wishes to take a form through the process of changes. That Yeats could stand firm in face of death, comes from Yeats’s firm belief in changes. That belief could disarm the forces of death. He shows a way to overcome in a concrete way.
“Under Ben Bulben” represents a third area, where life and death are one and the same. This is similar to the form of permanence in the other poem. When he says, “Horsemen, pass by!” he may want to reach a third stage, in which life and death do not exist. Yeats’s eye is cast upward, beyond the land of life and death; Upward, where the value of self could survive the test of time for good.

 



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