Yeats' Poetry And The Human Condition

Humanity’s knowledge of self and its ability to assess its own predicaments is essentially what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. With these skills also comes the ability to love, to hate and to exist somewhere in the middle ground. The development of language has allowed us to not only record these feelings and emotions, but to express them beyond their basic forms.

By exploring a selection of poetry of William Butler Yeats, it will be evident that poetry represents not only an extraordinary testament to human creativity, but an incomparable treasury of insights into and interpretations of the human condition, in all its experience.

While Yeats is generally known for his strong use of the occult and Irish folklore in his poetry, the poems selected for this investigation use them very little. This was done in order to allow the understanding of the human condition to be more accessible to those unfamiliar with these traditions. 

Liam Montgomery 2008