Yeats' The Second Coming: A Poem of Postwar Apocalypse


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The title of Yeats' 'The Second Coming' is a reference to what event?

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1. Why does Yeats' use a gyre as his conception of time?

2. Which of the following is NOT a theme related to Yeats' 'The Second Coming'?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you test your understanding of one of Yeats' most famous poems, ''The Second Coming''. Some things you'll be assessed on include what the title references, what the ''gyre'' refers to, and the major themes of the poem.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on the following topics:

  • Meaning of the poem's title
  • ''Gyre'' in the poem
  • Themes of the poem
  • Artistic movement Yeats represents with the poem
  • Historical event that inspired the poem

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding Yeats' ''The Second Coming''
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about specific themes, terms and images in ''The Second Coming''
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information on the historical event that influenced the poem's sentiment and interpret it correctly

Additional Learning

To learn more about this particular poem, review the accompanying lesson titled Yeats' The Second Coming: A Poem of Postwar Apocalypse. This lesson covers the following topics:

  • Historical background
  • Purpose of the ''widening gyre''
  • Analysis of the first stanza
  • Intent of the second stanza
  • Overall meaning of the poem