William BUtler Yeats critique on Lead and the Swan

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William Butler Yeats’ poem “Leda and the Swan” depicts the mythological story of Zeus, the king of the Gods, descending to earth in the form of a swan and raping the irresistibly attractive mortal woman, Leda. By portraying this molestation, the persona presents the fruit of the union as ultimate destruction; this is seen in his allusions to the fall of Troy. While relaying this story, the persona also questions whether Leda takes on the …

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…the attitude of her attacker, a reader can only wonder if Leda had acquired the indifference of Zeus, would the result have been so fatal? Though one can only speculate, perhaps if Leda had been as apathetic as Zeus, their daughter Helen, on whose account the Trojan war was fought, may have prevented the war rather than provoked it. On the other hand, Helen may have not even been the fruit of such a union.