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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.72 pp.1-15

Neoplatonism in W. B. Yeats’s “The Tower”

Wonkyung Shin


Yeats cultivated a profound comprehension of Plato and Plotinus through diligent study and intellectual exchange with the philosophers in his milieu. Recognizing the pervasive influence of Plotinus’s philosophical system, Neoplatonism offers valuable insights into the central themes explored throughout his oeuvre. While Yeats’s engagement with mysticism and esotericism has received attention, the Neoplatonic themes in Yeats’s poetry remain relatively unexplored. This study uncovers these themes especially interwoven in “The Tower.” Yeats uses rich symbolism and allegory in “The Tower,” making it an ideal canvas for Neoplatonic exploration. I delve into themes of soul ascent, transcending material limitations, and the interplay of the earthly and ethereal, identifying instances mirroring Neoplatonic philosophy. The Tower symbolizes the soul’s pursuit of higher truths and the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds, key to Neoplatonism.





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