Quick Answer: What Rough Beast Slouches Toward Bethlehem To Be Born?

What does slouches towards Bethlehem to be born mean?

In this poem Yeats describes an apocalypse coming, and a new Messiah, described as a Sphinx, is come to ravage the world, being born into the world at Bethlehem. The verb slouching is basically to trudge; or, to move lazily. When Yeats writes “… Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born,” he means it approaches slowly.

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 is the strange beast Slouche?

The only thing not doing any slouching these days is the “ rough beast ” in W. B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming,” the 1919 poem from which the phrase originates: “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

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What does the beast represent in the Second Coming?

Thus the beast represents the kingdoms that will bear rule over the world from Adam until the second coming of Christ.

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 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 the gyre symbolize in The Second Coming?

A gyre, according to Yeats, represented “the precise movement” of the human mind, according to the introduction to his 1921 publication The Second Coming. The word “gyre” therefore refers to the spiral motion of the falcon as it flies.

What beast slouches towards Bethlehem?

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

What does the 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 Spiritus Mundi?

‘Spiritus Mundi’ was a term used by W.B. Yeats to describe the collective soul of the universe containing the memories of all time. From ‘Spiritus Mundi,’ Yeats believed, came all poets’ inspiration.

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 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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