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When I first read William Butler Yeats poem Leda and the Swan I barely understood that it was a poem that discribes an incidence of rape I figured that there must have been something that I misunderstood because the mix between rape and phrases hintting towards the presence of a bird did not seem like they should coincide Never-the-less I felt the poems sinister violent nature through the language the poet uses Staggering helpless terrified mastered Despite my ignorance at the time of what the poem discussed a chill traversed me as I read the words I knew it discussed something dark and cold The poem sparked my curiosity I wanted to know what the poem really meant whether the words suggesting the presence of a bird are simply figurative a metaphor or if they are truly representative of a literal bird After a little research I discovered that the poem is actually based on a myth Leda and the Swan is an ancient Greek myth Leda wife of king Tydareus and mother of many noble children was a very beautiful woman So much so that she caught the eye of Zeus the God believed by the Greek to be the God of all other Gods When Leda refused to couple with Zeus he turned himself into a swan to in order to enable himself to mate with her regardless of her refusal This alsosccomadoated the needed secrecy due to him having a wife the goddess Nemesis So Zeus majestically embodied in a swan raped Leda After coupling with Zeus Leda laid an egg in which she bore Zeus two children Troy and Clemenstra When she grew-up Clemenstra helped her lover kill her husband Agamemnon Knowing this myth made understanding the poem a lot easier The poem is discussing this event Leda being raped by a swan The first stanza in the poem describes Ledas assault Zeus dominating Leda rendering her
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