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Home » » Write a short note on Cuchulain

W.B. Yeats represents the literary side of Irish national movement. He was a dreamer and a visionary who was fascinated by irish ballad folklore and the superstitions of Irish peasantry. To appreciate Yeats, the readers need to be familiar with Irish social, political, religious picture and the Irish mythologies. Irish legendary stories, especially myth of Cuchulain have influenced Yeats to become a great modern poet. Yeats himself created myths and adopted them from the mythological tales of Ireland. Yeats has given a universal significance to the myths, he has used in his poetry. His use of myths conveys a philosophy about life and civilization. In particular his dream about a liberated ireland is expressed in terms of mythological anecdotes for poetic purpose—in his mytho-poetic imagination. 

In Irish legend Cuchulain is a monstrous hero. The forefathers of Ireland believed that one day Cuchulain will set free the Irish people from English oppression and suppression. Cuchulain was the nephew of Conchubar’s, the king of Ulster. The warrior queen of Connaught, Maeve raided Ulster to capture a coveted Bull but Cuchulain long held off, her whole host single handed. To his grief he killed his Sworn brother Ferdiad. Though with Conchubar’s help, Maeve captured the Bull, her army was driven out of Ulster. She again attacked and there was a heroic struggle in which Cuchulain’s horse the grey of Macha, fought the enemy with his hoofs and Cuchulain fought tied to a post so as to die standing. His death was known when a raven, alighted on his head, pluck out his eyes. 

Myth and history form an integral part of Yeats’ poetry. He has used Irish mythology with symbolic meanings. Yeats believed civilization changes after every two thousand years. His choice of Irish myth and mythological figures provided him inspiration for poetry. His great poems like “Easter 1916”, “The Second Coming”, “September 1913”, “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”, etc. have reference to the heroism of Cuchulain. Yeats believed that monstrous sacrifice of the Irish people like Cuchulain will one day Jead Ireland to her victory. Such as situation is provided in the poem “Easter 1916” which deals with the contemporary history of Ireland. Yeats says “A terrible beauty will born” out of the sacrifice of the Irish revolutionary, 


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