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Use of Rhetorical Counter-Questions in Yeats and Blake: Spiritual Value of Ambivalence

Lee Hanmook

Abstract

Yeats and Blake consistently used rhetorical counter-questions whenever theyexpressed spiritual ambivalence of human existence throughout their poetry.Although Yeats was influenced by Blake, he explored different subject matters toexpress diverse ambivalence. While Yeats focused on ambivalent fusion of spiritualand physical conflicts, Blake focused on ambivalent integration of theological, social,and moral conflicts.
Yeats used rhetorical counter-questions to express the ambivalent unseen realityin "The Second Coming," "Among School Children," "Leda and Swan," and"Meditations in Time of Civil War." "Beast" in "The Second Coming," "dancer" in"Among School Children," Helen in "Leda and Swan," and "dream" in "TowardsBreak of Day" connote fusion images of opposing objects to evoke many aspects ofone thing by using rhetorical counter-question.
Also, Blake used rhetorical counter-questions to express the ambivalent spiritual,social, and ethical reality in "Tyger" and "A Little Boy Lost." Especially, Blakequalified spiritual ambivalence through various images of fire in "The Marriage ofHeaven and Hell" in that fire includes associated meanings of heaven and hell.Most of Blake's spiritual poems often begins with a rhetorical counter-question andends with a rhetorical counter-question to strengthen the significance of ambivalentarchetypal cycle.
Although both poets differ from each other on human spiritual value, theyused rhetorical counter-questions to free from religious, political, moral, social, andtraditional repression in their poetry. In this sense, men are making meaningsthrough their mystic imagination which is free from religion and tradition rather than scientific reason. Therefore, Yeats and Blake used rhetorical counter-questionsto qualify open aspects of human imagination and to complete archetypal countercycle.

예이츠와 블레이크의 반문 수사법: 영적 실존가치의 양면성

이한묵
명지대학교

초록

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