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Word Count: 997
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 indifference of her attacker Zeus This questioning is seen in the final lines of the poem in which the persona asks Did Leda put on Zeus knowledge the attitude of the attacker one of indifference with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop Through the use of certain rime imagery and allusion Yeats persona reveals the indifference of Zeus while showing that Leda is not capable of inheriting his apathetic attitude Through the use of poetic devices such as imagery and diction in the first stanza Ledas true fear is evoked by the relentless attack of the swan The swans sudden blow 1 suggests the surprise in his attack and the unexpectedness on Ledas behalf As the swan balances himself atop the girl the reader witnesses Leda staggering 2 out of shock as her thighs are caressed 2 The confusion of Leda and the incipient images used to describe the actions of the swan are the first to suggest the action of rape Reading further Ledas nape is seen caught in the swans bill 3 This image of restriction of Ledas neck in the grasp of the swan is the additional evidence needed to reveal the true heartlessness of the swans actions The final line of the first stanza accurately describes Leda as helpless 4 This label of Leda suggests how she is powerless against the languid god Through the depiction of rape and the suggestion of Ledas helplessness the reader is made aware of the
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