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No Second Troy

No Second Troy

by William Butler Yeats

Gender Quotes

How we cite our 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?

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