Get your essays here, 33,000 to choose from!

Limited Time Offer at Free College Essays!!!

Lapis Lazuli

3 Pages 824 Words

Tragedy and Art
William Butler Yeats

The theme of “Lapis Lazuli” is that all forms of art can surpass the tragedies experienced within the world; therefore making it gay. Yeats uses his theme of tragic joy throughout the poem, and often in his works toward the last few years of his life. As an artist of literature Yeats understands he faces death like every mortal, but art is what makes things beautiful. Art can bring people joy even in the worst of times. Art can overcome the mere tragedy of events simply by knowing everything comes to an end. Tragic joy is the bittersweet part of life that involves the acceptance of all things good and bad.
In the first stanza we see he believes that those who give credence to the political world will only end up with tragedy, and no joy. The “hysterical women” he speaks of are those who have forsaken the arts, “sick of the palette and fiddle-bow.” Specifically, he is thinking of women such as Maud Gonne who was extremely active politically, especially with the uprising Easter uprising. These women embrace the politics of the modern world, and the modern world is stricken with war and destruction. The women’s convictions make them ugly since they are not accepting of art into their lives; therefore they don’t have joy. Yeats says that if everyone relies on politics instead of art, the world will come to an end. It isn’t the end that we should fear, but an end with no joy, no art. Yeats specifically proclaims three areas of art that are doomed to tragedy, yet they happily go, knowing that it provides them with sanity in an insane world.
In the second stanza the reader is introduced to the first of the three arts in the form of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, Prince Hamlet and King Lear. Readers of Hamlet and Lear understand that the characters meet a tragic end, but at the same time the heroes come to an understanding of their tragedy. Any artist should feel the tr...

Page 1 of 3 Next >

Essays related to Lapis Lazuli