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No Second Troy

No Second Troy

by William Butler Yeats

No Second Troy Analysis

Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

"No Second Troy" looks just like a sonnet. Surely it must be a sonnet, right? But then you count the lines and notice that there are only twelve, whereas a true sonnet has fourteen. Sigh.You can st...

Speaker

The speaker's heart is at odds with his head in this poem. His heart says, "That treacherous Maud Gonne! Look what she did to Ireland! Look what she did to you! We should hate her, oh yes we should...

Setting

In general, the setting is a cross between modern-day Ireland and the ancient Greece of epic stories like Homer's Iliad. But trying to figure out the setting of this poem is a bit like playing that...

Sound Check

The poem sounds like a guy standing in front of a mirror and having an argument with himself. Because it's a person talking to himself, it also sounds a lot like a Shakespearean sonnet or soliloquy...

What's Up With the Title?

If the title were "No Second Chances," it could make a great motivational poem to read at halftime of the big game...But, no, the real title, "No Second Troy," alludes to ancient Greek history. Hot...

Calling Card

Actually, doesn't the poem begin with the rhetorical question as well? Still, isn't it striking how many of Yeats's best poems end with a question? What, you want an example? Of course you do. How...

Tough-o-Meter

We're convinced you don't have to know anything about Yeats and Maud Gonne to "get" this poem, but we're also convinced that the story is so spicy that you'll want to know if you don't already. On...

Trivia

Gonne's nickname, at least in the American papers, was "The Irish Joan of Arc." Check out this article from 1897 describing her visit to America (source).Gonne appears in a not-insignificant amount...

Steaminess Rating

Well, there's no sex in this poem, but if you want to read about Maud Gonne and Yeats's steamy but complicated relationship, check out this NY Times article. (Poets just can't get any privacy in th...

Allusions

Troy, from the Iliad and the Aeneid (title, line 12)Helen of Troy (line 12)Maude Gonne (entire poem)The fight for Irish independence (entire poem)

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