William Butler Yeats




    Despite the "needless" death described in this stanza, Yeats explains England's position, in relation to these deaths, that all tragic death is sprung from this heroic dream expressed in stanza 5:


                For England may keep faith

                For all that is done and said.

                We know their dream; enough

                To know they dreamed and are dead;

                And what if excess of love

                Bewildered them till they died?

                I write it out in a verse --

                MacDonagh and MacBride

                And Connolly and Pearse

                Now and in time to be,

                Wherever green is worn,

                Are changed, changed Utterly:

                A terrible beauty is born.





Everyone with that heroic dream died in result of its impossibility, confused by the "excess of love"(72) for their cause, country, and dream.  Yeats "writes out in a verse,"(74) as he does in many of his poems to convey enlightenment and understanding to affect the future readers.  He leaves this poem as a legacy and memorial to those poeple--MacDonagh, MacBride, Connolly, and Pearse--who are all untied by their dedication to the heroic dream, giving Ireland everything they could.  Yeats continues to say that wherever the spirit of Ireland lies, represented by people wearing the color "green," those people will be forever changed.  The terrible beauty, dying for this heroic dream, has been born.









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