Man And The Echo Yeats Essay

Topics: Life, Easter Rising, Death Pages: 2 (1332 words) Published: April 13, 2015
Describe how mortality and the passing of time are presented in the Man and the Echo Yeats’ “Man and the Echo” explores the image of death and mortality, through the passing of time. It is a dialogue between a “man”, that being Yeats, and an “echo”, in which he has sought from a mystical place, "Alt", in Sligo. Throughout this poem, Yeats questions the responsibility and purpose of life, and becomes very futile. The passing of time is presented is this poem through the idea of ageing and death. Yeats describes himself as being “old and ill” and therefore the reader is automatically provided with the imagery of ageing. Yeats states the position he is in as being at the “bottom of a pit”, where the “broad moon” never “lit”. This can be interpreted as Yeats' idea of death, somewhere which seems to be enclosed and trapped, where sunlight cannot reach. Yeats then describes the cycle of shouting “a secret” to “a stone”, a stone is associated with something very fixed and enduring, and is therefore unable to respond, Yeats is comparing the stone to the people of Ireland, whom are not listening to him. Yeats also presents death as a very slow, but inevitable process, as he states that he lies “awake night after night”. Yeats is accepting that the process is occurring, however the tone reveals that Yeats is not happy about the inevitability of what is to come. This poem, written in 1938, was at the latter stage of Yeats' life, and therefore was very close to his actual death. The poem is very similar to Broken Dreams in which Yeats discusses the decaying beauty of Maud, his muse. Yeats states “there is grey in your hair”, stating the obvious effect that ageing has had on her. He also states “your beauty can but leave among us”, by using the word “us”, Yeats is presenting the reader with the effect that death has on others, not just the victim. This is used in the same way that the slow ageing of Yeats, has meant that no one is able to hear him, or appreciate his...
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