Quick Answer: What Does Slouches Towards Bethlehem To Be Born Mean?

What does William Butler Yeats symbolize with the rough beast that slouches towards Bethlehem in his poem the Second Coming?

Of great significance in Yeats’ poem is the “rough beast,” apparently the Anti-Christ, who has not been born yet. And most problematic is that the rough beast is “slouch[ing] towards Bethlehem to be born.” The question is, how can such an Anti-Christian creature be slouching if it has not yet been born?

What beast slouches to Bethlehem born?

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

What is the meaning of Yeats poem the Second Coming?

“The Second Coming” was intended by Yeats to describe the current historical moment (the poem appeared in 1921) in terms of these gyres. Yeats believed that the world was on the threshold of an apocalyptic revelation, as history reached the end of the outer gyre (to speak roughly) and began moving along the inner gyre.

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What does the beast symbolize in the Second Coming?

The sphinxlike creature described in the poem symbolizes both destruction and rebirth. It also symbolizes the pagan world that predated the Christian era.

Who are the worst in The Second Coming?

Yeats is referring to sides in the Irish political conflict, complaining that “the best” won’t commit to a full-out rebellion against the English, while the worst are loud and boisterous, but ineffective in their actual actions.

What does the falcon symbolize in The Second Coming?

The falcon, separated from the falconer, is lost: without reason, without ruler, without larger cause. It is a symbol for a lost humanity, at the mercy of uncontrollable forces.

What does the blood dimmed tide is loosed mean?

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere. The ceremony of innocence is drowned; These three lines describe a situation of violence and terror through phrases like “anarchy,” “blood-dimmed tide,” and “innocence […] drowned.” (By the way, “mere” doesn’t mean “only” in this context; it means “total” or “pure.”)

What does Widening gyre mean?

The ‘gyre’ metaphor Yeats employs in the first line (denoting circular motion and repetition) is a nod to Yeats’s mystical belief that history repeats itself in cycles. But the gyre is ‘widening’: it is getting further and further away from its centre, its point of origin.

What does the center Cannot hold mean?

That “the center cannot hold” is an ironic reference to both the imminent collapse of the African tribal system, threatened by the rise of imperialist bureaucracies, and the imminent disintegration of the British Empire.

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What is the main theme of The Second Coming?

Major Themes of “The Second Coming”: Violence, prophecy, and meaninglessness are the major themes foregrounded in this poem. Yeats emphasizes that the present world is falling apart, and a new ominous reality is going to emerge. The idea of “the Second Coming” is not Biblical.

What happens when the speaker mentions The Second Coming?

Immediately after the speaker mentions it, he sees a beast emerging from the desert. The beast is emerging from “Spiritus Mundi” which is Latin for “the spirit of the world.” So the beast is emerging from the way we people are today. So this new vision is a horrible one.

Does the center hold meaning?

It means chaos is descending upon the world; the forces that should bring order are failing to do so. It is a line from a poem by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, written in 1919 in the aftermath of the First World War – and if it doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you may in fact be dead.

What does Bethlehem symbolize in The Second Coming?

As soon as he alludes to Christ, a “vast image” of a pagan religion appears to wander toward Bethlehem. The symbol here is of the end of a religion that, for Yeats, embodied hope and innocence.

What does rocking cradle symbolize?

Although 2,000 years seems like a long time to us, Yeats compares it to a single night of an infant’s sleep, which is suddenly “vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle.” The cradle reinforces the image that something has recently been “born,” and its motion also serves as a metaphor for social upheaval.

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How is The Second Coming ironic?

Irony: A sphinx isn’t a Christian symbol. Seems to be pitiless and malevolent, the Second coming is supposed to be benevolent! Desert Landscape: signifies that new era is one that is lifeless and dry.

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