Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #4

Why, what could she have done being what she is?     
Was there another Troy for her to burn? (lines 11-12)

So these lines are the real kicker from a gender perspective. Is Yeats pinning the Trojan War all on Helen, just because she left her husband Menelaus for a young prince? The poem suggests that a certain kind of attractive and noble femininity also leads to blind and aimless destruction. And a certain kind of woman just goes looking for a city to burn down. What's your take?

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top