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A comparison of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” and William Butler Yeats’s “The Second Coming”
The purpose of this paper is to give equal illumination to two poems that contain a similar theme. That theme is the end of the world. They both depict the end of the world, but in very different ways. Frost depicts the end of the world as either being of fire or of ice. On the other hand Yeats depicts the end of the world as utter chaos and destruction. Therefore the two poems are similar in the end of the world theme but differ in the way the world ends.
In Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice”, Frost describes the end of the world as either being fire or ice. He says that he does not care which way the world ends because he has seen both in his life. As he puts it “from what I have tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire”(3-4). What he is saying is that he does not fear dying in fire because fire is equated with desire. He feels that dying in desire is not too bad of a way to die. As most people now when something is done with desire there is always a “fire” that is burning inside.
Also in “Fire and Ice” Frost says that “but if I had to die twice I think I know enough of hate to say that for destruction ice is also great and would suffice” (5-9). What Frost is saying with this part of the poem is that if he could die twice he then choose the ice because he knows the hate that ice is equated with. When someone feels hate there is a general feeling of coldness or “Ice”. Frost is saying that he could stand dying through the coldness of hate.
On the other end is William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming”. In this poem Yeats portrays the end of the world as a time of chaos and anarchy. The line “things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”(4-5), sums up that his vision is that the world is going to begin to crumble and nothing will be left but ...
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