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The Tower Motif in Yeats's Poetry

Shin Won Kyung

Abstract

I have made an attempt to read the tower imagery in some of Yeats’s middleand last poems. The tower is a key symbol in his poetry. He purchased a Normantower in 1917 and moved into it to live in summers from 1919. Since then, it hadbecome an emblem of his profound philosophy in his philosophical poetry.
I read both the tower poems and their social and historical backgrounds tounderstand his works more deeply. I also study the way his tower poems reflectNeoplatonic symbolism and intellectual symbolism. The tower symbolizes the poet'sspiritual and historical changes in his life; at one time, the tower was a romanticand stable place for the newlywed Yeatses; at others, it served as a retreat at hiscritical moments and as a place for philosophical contemplation on life and death;eventually it became the poet himself and the eternal symbol of his art as well.

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