Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Rose

The Magic of Device

The iniquitous nature of unrequited love plays man the subservient jester to his indifferent queen. In his poem "The Cap and Bells" W. B. Yeats seeks to convey the message that unrequited love causes a man to give and give of himself until he has nothing left; he makes himself a fool. He accomplishes this objective via the clever means of poetic device. He employs three primary vehicles in his quest: rhyme, personification, and symbolism. By using these devices, Yeats creates an art that causes his reader to think about what he has put forth and thereby better understand his tragic view of love.

Without deep analysis, one can note the rhyming nature of this poem. The rhyme scheme (pattern of rhyming words at the end of each line) abcb occurs throughout its nine stanzas. This enhances the overall tone of the poem by keeping it from becoming romanticized and grounding it in reality and anguish. The pattern of rhyme is interrupted by dissimilar sounding words, which produce a jarring effect on the reader. This discordant quality keeps the reader from becoming mislaid in a songlike fairytale by elucidating the dichotomy of the fantastic story being offered literally and the reality of its metaphoric nature. An example of...

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