The Second Coming Summary & Analysis by William Butler Yeats

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"The Second Coming" is one of W.B. Yeats's most famous poems. Written in 1919 soon after the end of World War I, it describes a deeply mysterious and powerful alternative to the Christian idea of the Second Coming—Jesus's prophesied return to the Earth as a savior announcing the Kingdom of Heaven. The poem's first stanza describes a world of chaos, confusion, and pain. The second, longer stanza imagines the speaker receiving a vision of the future, but this vision replaces Jesus's heroic return with what seems to be the arrival of a grotesque beast. With its distinct imagery and vivid description of society's collapse, "The Second Coming" is also one of Yeats's most quoted poems.

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