Teacher Guide

Easter, 1916 Lesson Plan

Introduction to Easter, 1916

On Easter Sunday of 1916, a group of Irish Republicans rebelled against British control of the country. After six days and hundreds of deaths, the rebels surrendered and the leaders were subsequently executed. "Easter, 1916" explores Yeats's complex feelings about the event, now commonly referred to as the "Easter Rising." In the poem, Yeats describes how the Rising transformed the world of Dubliners and focuses on four men who were ultimately executed for their participation and leadership: Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas MacDonagh, and John MacBride. The poem also makes references to Constance Gore-Booth Markievicz, a nationalist and suffragette.

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