William Butler Yeats 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. Born and educated in Dublin, Ireland, Yeats discovered early in his literary career a fascination with Irish folklore and the occult. He felt an internal struggle 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. In 1922 "The Jealousy of Emer" premiered in Amsterdam, and like many of Yeat's plays featured Japanese-style masks. The story is based on a legend from the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology about Emer, the wife of the notorious soldier Cuchulain. The play picks up at the close of "On Baile's Strand", during Cuchulain's fight with the sea.
About W. B. Yeats
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Published October 20, 2011
Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction.