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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.31 pp.57-77

Yeats's Purgatory: Gothic Representation and Anti-heroic theme

Park Mee jung


Purgatory includes as its main themes Yeats’s feeling of crisis and anxiety asan Anglo-Irish who was alienated from the Irish society, his skeptical view of themodern Ireland which was seeking after materialism and his predilection for eugenicthought. In Purgatory, Yeats reveals those representative themes of his later writingusing the conventions of Gothic: for instance, the supernatural modes such as thetransgression of the ancestors, whose tragic result affects the present, the ruinedhouse, wild landscape, and the ghosts, the theme of ‘life in death’ and ‘the deathin life’, the opposition of nature and culture and the Freudian psychologicalcharacteristics such as ‘the return of the repressed’ and ‘the uncanny.’
This paper aims to analyse how Yeats borrows and modifies those traditionalGothic conventions to convey his themes in a more effective and impressive wayand to finally argue that Yeats came to be skeptical about the heroic theme and itsrepresentation. Yeats places the old man as a narrator who speaks for his thoughts,but at the same time he puts him as an unreliable narrator and shows us hislimitation. Here arises irony, through which Yeats reconsiders his heroic theme thathe has insisted throughout his lifetime. Through the old man’s failure to save hismother from her repeated pain of purgatory and his consequent helplessness, Yeatsreveals the anti-heroic theme.

예이츠의 『연옥』(Purgatory): 고딕 재현과 반(反)영웅주의



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