Builders of My Soul: Greek and Roman Themes in Yeats

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To Yeats, as well as to Eliot, Pound, Joyce, and other major writers, as Erich Auerbach put it in Mimesis, "Antiquity means liberation and a broadening of horizons, not in any sense a new limitation or servitude." That is why Greco-Roman themes can be endlessly stimulating, why Yeats could call the Greek and Roman writers "the builders of my soul." Brian Arkin's thematic consideration of Yeat's subject matter under philosophy, myth, religion, history, literature, visual art, and Byzantium, allows us to see coherently how Yeats exploited this material and how, especially in his middle and later periods, he transformed and metamorphosed subject matter from Homer, Phidias, Plato, Plotinus, and Sophocles, and from the myths of Dionysus, Helen of Troy, Leda, and Zeus, to exemplify his central preoccupations. Irish Literary Studies Series No. 32.

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Yeatss Knowledge of Classics
Myth Religion History

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