Leda and the Swan
Leda and the Swan
by William Butler Yeats

Leda and the Swan Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What was your initial reaction to the poem? Disgust? Amazement at the language?
  2. Is this an erotic poem? Is it meant to be?
  3. Does Yeats imply that Leda has mixed feelings about the rape, or would she have fought against it if she could?
  4. What kind of "knowledge" do you think Leda could have acquired from Zeus?
  5. If you could gain only one kind of knowledge – say, of the future or of the laws of nature – what would it be?

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