Critical Appreciation of BYZANTIUM by William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

             Yeats wrote the poem Byzantium four years after he had written the poem Sailing to Byzantium Byzantium's is almost parallel to sailing to Byzantium through both poems the poet presents an escape from a world of flux into the kingdom of permanence in the first poem sailing to Byzantium's there is a description of the voyage to the country of mind whereas the second foe in Byzantium presents an ideal state which happens to be beyond life summary of the poem in the opening stanza of the poem. There is the description of the night when the great gong of st. Sophia has announced that it is the right time for spiritual meditation the images of the drunken soldiers of the King remind us of the savage British soldiers who used to torment and torture the Irish peasantry. 
            The noises and the images which the speaker talks about in the poem represent the daytime activities in a great city. The speaker talks about the night walker’s song in the bra of the revelers and says that their noises have been subdued by the sound of the great gong. The speaker comes face to face with the huge dome of st. Sophia and the dome begins to look like the sky that is decorated with the light of moon and stars which are looking down upon the human life of the earth there is a lot of confusion and chaos on the earth multiplicities like love-hate strife and confusion are the part of the everyday human life through the second stanza of the poem.
           The speaker seems to be contemplating the dome of divine wisdom he has a hidden desire to explore its secrets and mysteries. He sees an image of a human body but it appears should be a shade. He says that the image is more shade. The speaker praises the superhuman guide. The speaker feels the presence of this Great Spirit at the start of his pilgrimage in the third stanza is the description of the vision of heaven. There is the golden bird and the speaker says that is more a miracle than an artifice that is planted on the star at golden branch of the mystic tree the bird is a purified soul the bird is made of gold the purest substance. It is the symbol of the purged soul. The bird has been purged in purgatory and it has been shaped by divine smithy in the fourth stanza of the poem. There is the spectacle of purgatory the souls are flitting like the flames of fire the scene is unearthly. The fire is not caused by wood. It is used for the burning of martyrs. It is the heavenly fire of purgatory no storm can disturb this fire. It purges the soul into likeness of flame the illusion goes to dance Divine Comedy in the fifth and the last stanza of the poem. The speaker finds himself at the brink of purgatory. He can clearly see the ocean of time and space bound life, it seems that the blood begotten spirits are moving ahead on the back of dolphins. The allusion is to the proverbial escorts which guides souls to the kingdom of death. This scene has been made popular by artists and the markers of the Roman tombs here the Dolphins are also the symbol of earthly love in the last the poem. The speaker describes the shores of the ocean of life there is conflict between flesh and spirit. It symbolizes the mortal man as state between the life and afterlife form of the poem.
            The poem consists of five stanzas having a lines each the meter is not regular the first second third fifth and eighth lines in each stanza following ambach pentameter while the fourth line has tetrameter and the sixth and seventh lines following ambach trim meter the rhyme schema say a BBC DDC critical analysis the poem is full of complex imagery and allusions the speaker finds himself and the place he has been travelling to you the description of which is there in the poem Sailing to Byzantium now the speaker is present in the city itself. The narrative and imagistic arrangement of this poem seems should be highly ambiguous and complicated. It is unclear whether Yeats and Jen's the poem should be a register of symbols are an actual mythological statement the poem since a very challenging image rank is definitely unmatched built upon the mythological and religious perspective of life beyond him. The journey after the life make it a kind of vision but it is not a vision. It gains its strength from the images which the poet presents through the religious and mythological background. He begins from the earth and the earthly affairs describing them as complexities and leads us through the purgatory where everything is purged in the eternal flame which exists through its own existence without any material which is required to ignite it, the Eternity of afterlife is obvious in the scene described by the boat.

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