William Butler Yeats was born near Dublin in 1865, and was encouraged from a young age to pursue a life in the arts. He attended art school for a short while, but soon found that his talents and interest lay in poetry rather than painting. He came to prominence during a tumultuous period in Irish history, when he struggled with the idea of an independent Irish identity. Yeats dealt constantly with the contradictions he felt in his nature and in life, and spent much of his life seeking out a philosophical system to resolve this conflict. The first edition of "The Countess Cathleen" appeared in 1892, but underwent several revisions over the next thirty years as Yeats' vision of poetry and theatre evolved. The protagonist, Cathleen O'Shea, must choose between acting for the good of others or in her own personal interests, while weighing the suggestions of various allegorical characters.
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Published October 19, 2011
Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction.