Indifferent Beak Essay

274 Words2 Pages
Inspired by Greek mythology, William Butler Yeats authored an ambiguous sonnet depicting a graphic encounter by Leda and the god Zeus, in the form of a swan. In the poem’s conclusion, he was able to examine the awareness (or lack thereof) of the Spartan queen. This was quoted as “Did she put on his knowledge with his power before the indifferent beak could let her drop” (Yeats, 1924) in the conclusion of the piece. The query points out Leda’s partial acquisition of Zeus’ godly functions (knowledge and power) during his exhibit of apparent indifference. Though rarely considered, it could be a sudden wise counter-ploy by Leda. Using her new selective precognition, the woman allowed the events to transpire to avenge herself through her offspring who sparked the Trojan War; thus, transitioning the world into modern history where Zeus’ absolute authority is invalidated. Referring to the second stanza, two rhetorical inquiries discuss Leda’s degree of participation in the act. The line “How can those terrified vague fingers…” (Yeats, 1924) affirms her non-existent resistance to the overpowering god’s approach. The succeeding passage “and how can body, laid in that white rush... feel the strange heart beating…” (Yeats, 2014) confirms Leda’s willingness to continue the intercourse. It can be conjectured that emotional attachment was developed and sustained, until Leda assumed superior knowledge. As a consequence, the woman used deceitful emotions to preserve the “connection” and take advantage of Zeus’ indifference until a “shudder in loins” (Yeats, 2014) occurs. Although the anthropomorphic swan caused Leda physical degradation, the deity was eventually left in the obscurity of the modern mind. The woman ends up victorious
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