Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

The Second Coming Summary & Analysis
by William Butler Yeats

Question about this poem?
Have a question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Ask us
Ask us
Ask a question
Ask a question
Ask a question

"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.

Get
Get
LitCharts
Get the entire guide to “The Second Coming” as a printable PDF.
Download