ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2004.22.43
Literature, Sex, and Politics: A Reading of Yeats's Early Poetry
The next part reads a group of poems which deal with Yeats's love of MaudGonne. Using the image of the rose or the courtly genre, both of them being oldtraditional poetic conventions, the poet represents Maud Gonne either as a goddessof eternal beauty or a woman of heroic nobility. However, she is also representedas a woman of "lonely face" and "pilgrim soul," a woman who brings "the sorrowof love," or a woman repeatedly associated with the tragic world of Troy. Thisambivalence or double vision in the poet's representation of her seems to resultform Yeats's ambiguous attitude to Maud Gonne and her revolutionary and socialwork.
The last part of the paper deals with two poems and a play which representIreland as a woman. The use of a woman figure as symbolic image of Ireland,especially Yeats's use of Cathleen ni Houlihan in his poetry and drama, isimportant, because it most distinctively reveals the relations between sexual politicsand aesthetic value in the early poetry of Yeats. In this respect, the writer of thispaper notes that the woman figure in these works is a highly romanticized and idealized one, rather than a real one with human body and sexual desire, and thinksthat this is related to Yeats's version of Iriish nationalism with its strengths andlimitations.