The Call of the Sidhe: Poetic and Mythological Influences in Ireland's Struggle for Freedom

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Wakeling, Anna
William Butler Yeats; Ireland; Independence; Tuatha de Danaan; Celtic Studies; European History; European Languages and Societies; Literature in English, British Isles
thesis / dissertation description
The mythology of Ireland is millennia old, birthing a poetic tradition that has endured with the nation. This presentation explores how important Ireland's mythological heritage has been to its people, sustaining their fighting spirit during foreign invasions, political instability, and conflicts with England. The work if William Butler Yeats, in particular, embodies the struggles between the Protestant Ascendancy and the native Irish; Christianity and paganism; the Gaelic poetic tradition and newer English literature; and the push for peaceful independence negotiation versus the radical revolutionary movements inspired by ancient heroes. His life and poetry serve as a lens that brings the expanse of Ireland's tumultuous history into focus.