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The Second Coming

by nataliadelina, January 24, 2013

186 out of 208 people found this helpful

The Second Coming has many biblical references within the poem in my point of view. It talks about ideas from the book of revelations. In revelations an angel "opened an abyss"(Revelation 9:2) in which Yeats describes a "widening gyre"- a deep and bottomless pit. The bible also describes the world in its last days filled with: "abomination filled with desolation)". Yeats also discribes a world filled with chaos: "falcon cannot hear the falconer, anarchy, innocence drowned, best lack all conviction, blood- dimmed tide, and passionate intensity". the bible also refers to two witnesses, men, who "have power to turn waters into blood"(Rev. 11:6) and "a third of the sea turned to blood" ( Rev. 8:. Water turned into blood was also mentioned in Exodus as one of Gods punishments towards the Egyptians. This correlates what Yeats describes as a "blood-dimmed tide" as punishment from God, a mass number of death. Yeats also mentions the sun to be "blank and pitiless" which in the bible says" the sun turned black like a sackcloth made of goat hair" ( Rev.6:12). "The Second Coming" first makes you believe it is Jesus second time on Earth, but later in the poem it refers to the "beast". The beast is actually satan, or the devil. In revelations he is "the great dragon...that ancient serpent"(Rev. 12:9). A rocking cradle signifies something to be born, the beast is awaiting not Jesus return but the birth of the anti-christ in Bethlehem. "Then i saw another beast, coming out the earth. he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon."(Rev. 13:11). The second beast or anti-christ , is to be born in Bethlehem because the anti christ mimicks Jesus himself in "performing great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to Earth in full view of Earth...(and) worship the beast and his image" (Rev. 13,11).

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