From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan

  

by William Butler Yeats

Leda and the Swan The Supernatural Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line)

Quote #1

A sudden blow: (line 1)

The shock of the swan's attack on Leda represents the shock of sudden contact with another kind of reality. The heavy beats at the beginning of the poem fall like a lead weight. The "blow" explains Leda's disorientation throughout the poem.

Quote #2

The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? (line 6)

The word "glory" marks one of the first references to the swan's godlike nature. The poem makes clear that for Leda to resist would be futile. She is up against a force beyond her powers.

Quote #3

But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? (line 8)

Leda is caught between "higher" and "lower" natures (i.e., that of a god and that of an animal). The swan's heart is "strange" or foreign because it belongs to an animal and a divine being.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement