ISSN : (Online)
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2008.29.109
The Principal Symbols in A Vision
In A Vision, Yeats presents an elaborate symbolic pattern which he applies notonly to history, but also to individual lives. One of his basic symbols is a pair ofinterpenetrating whirling cones or "gyres" signifying the world of change that movewithin a sphere emblematic eternity. The gyres, with their points at the bases ofeach other, represent the oppositions and reciprocity of human existence; oneexpands as the other diminishes. The two gyres stand for two contrasting forces―the primary or objective and the antithetical or subjective. There is a state ofperpetual conflict between the gyres The “sphere” is the symbol of perfection,"Unity of Being". These symbols of sphere and gyres are equivalent to another setof symbols, in which a circle or "The Great Wheel" is marked off into "phase" thatcorrespond to the waxing and waning of the moon. There are twenty eight suchphases, with varying degrees of moonlight and darkness. They can be applied tohuman personality and to the incarnations of the soul. Each quarter of "The GreatWheel" represents a completely different character. The first quarter is identifiedwith the body, the second with the heart, the third with the mind, and the fourthwith the soul. The result of the mixture of these principles at any one phase mustbe measured in terms of "Four Faculties," which usually are at odds with oneanother. As "Four Faculties" with living here, "Four Principles" apply to the lifeafter death. The Principles find their Unity in the Celestial Body, man's archetype inHeaven.