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Metaphysician as dramatist : the struggle of the spirit in the drama of W.B. Yeats Martin, Heather 1980

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METAPHYSICIAN AS DRAMATIST: THE STRUGGLE OF THE SPIRIT IN THE DRAMA OF W. B. YEATS by HEATHER CARMEN MARTIN B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of Ottawa, 1971 M.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of New B r u n s w i c k , 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 198 0 (c) H e a t h e r Carmen M a r t i n , 1980 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department nf E n g l i s h  The University of British Columbia-2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 March, 1980 A b s t r a c t W. B. Y e a t s s p e n t a g r e a t d e a l of h i s l i f e i m m e r s i n g h i m s e l f i n m y s t i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c s t u d i e s i n o r d e r , as he c l a i m e d , to d e v i s e a p e r s o n a l s y s t e m o f t h o u g h t " t h a t would l e a v e [ h i s ] ... i m a g i n a t i o n f r e e to c r e a t e as i t c h o s e and y e t make a l l t h a t i t c r e a t e d , or c o u l d c r e a t e , p a r t of one h i s t o r y , and t h a t t h e s o u l ' s . " T h i s s t u d y c o n t e n d s t h a t he s u c c e e d e d i n d e v e l o p i n g a c o h e s i v e m e t a p h y s i c s , and t h a t t h i s m e t a p h y s i c s i s by and l a r g e o r i g i n a l , a s y n t h e s i s o n l y of t h o s e t r a d i t i o n s w h i c h c o r r o b o r a t e d h i s own f l e d g l i n g be-l i e f s . W h i l e he s e t down t h e e n s u i n g s y s t e m i n a s e r i e s of p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s c u l m i n a t i n g i n A V i s i o n and i n what i s p e r h a p s t h e most s u c c i n c t s t a t e m e n t of h i s p h i l o s o p h y , "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s " of 1937, t h i s same s y s t e m i n f i l t r a t e s , a t t i m e s o v e r t l y , but more o f t e n c o v e r t l y , v i r t u a l l y a l l of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s . Y e a t s s t r u g g l e d t o d e v i s e a s y m b o l i c framework f o r h i s drama t h a t would i n c o r p o r a t e i t s m e t a p h y s i c a l base but w ould s u p e r c e d e i t , and c o n s t a n t l y r e v i s e d h i s p l a y s t o e l i m -i n a t e a l l a b s t r a c t i o n . He c o n s i d e r e d h i m s e l f p r i m a r i l y a p o e t and a d r a m a t i s t , b e l i e v i n g i n t h e g r e a t e r power of age-o l d symbols to t r a n s m i t t h e s e t r u t h s and, i n h i s drama p e r -haps more t h a n i n h i s p o e t r y , b r e a t h e d l i f e and meaning i n t o t h e r a t h e r a b s t r u s e s t a t e m e n t s of t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s . When s t u d i e d t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e l a t t e r works, t h e p l a y s b e g i n i i t o r e s o n a t e w i t h meaning, and many s u b t l e , even o b s c u r e , p a s s a g e s become r e a d i l y u n d e r s t a n d a b l e . S t u d i e d as a u n i t , t h e p l a y s r e v e a l i n p r a c t i c e t h e s y s t e m t h a t t h e p h i l o s o p h -i c a l works expound i n t h e o r y . T h i s s t u d y w i l l e l u c i d a t e t h e u n d e r l y i n g s y s t e m of b e l i e f s i n t h e drama and e s t a b l i s h i t s i m p o r t a n c e to t h e aim and e x e c u t i o n o f the p l a y s , by d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n to a few of t h e c e n t r a l themes, m e t a p h o r s and sym-b o l s t h r o u g h w h i c h i t i s d e v e l o p e d i n t h e drama. The manu-s c r i p t v e r s i o n s and t h e e a r l i e s t p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n s of t h e p l a y s a r e t h e most u s e f u l f o r t h i s p u r p o s e , s i n c e t h e y o f t e n r e t a i n much of t h e a b s t r a c t t h o u g h t w h i c h Y e a t s e l i m i n a t e d f r o m t h e l a t e r v e r s i o n s , and a l s o show t h e development of t h e metaphors and images w i t h w h i c h Y e a t s g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e d i t . A l l o f Y e a t s ' s c o n c e r n s , whether as poet o r m a g i c i a n , d r a m a t i s t or p h i l o s o p h e r , r e v o l v e d a r ound t h e s o u l or s p i r i t ; as he once w r o t e , "My own b e l i e f i s t h a t we know n o t h i n g ... but ' s p i r i t s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s ' . " I t i s t h e r e f o r e n ot s u r p r i s i n g t h a t ' s p i r i t s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s ' a r e a c e n t r a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n of t h e drama, and c o n s t i t u t e a major t h e m a t i c l i n k between t h e d i f f e r e n t p l a y s . T h a t men a r e s p i r i t s tem-p o r a r i l y r e s i d i n g i n a human body i s one of t h e most b a s i c t e n e t s o f a l l t h e p l a y s . Though t h e y c e n t r e on m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s , t h e s t r u g g l e s t h e y d e p i c t a r e b e s t u n d e r s t o o d i n t h e c o n t e x t of a h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g , s i n c e many m o r t a l s i i i i n t h e p l a y s e i t h e r know, or a r e t o l d , or remember t h a t t h e y were once d i s c a r n a t e b e i n g s , and t h a t t h e i r m o r t a l garb w i l l be "but empty cage and t a n g l e d w i r e " when t h e i r s o u l has e s c a p e d . T h i s b e l i e f i n a h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g p r o c e e d i n g from man to God, or t h e One, and c o n n e c t i n g a l l b e i n g s w i t h i n c r e a t i o n , p e r m e a t e s t h e drama. The p l a y s c h a r t t h e j o u r n e y of t h e s p i r i t from c r e a t i o n ( t h e s e p a r a t i o n of t h e One i n t o t h e Many) t h r o u g h e n d l e s s p h a s e s of b e i n g , as i t a c q u i r e s more and more l a y e r s o f d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n u n t i l i t a c h i e v e s t h e most extreme form of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n p o s s i b l e , as a s p i r i t i m p r i s o n e d i n a human body. Each s p i r i t j o u r n e y s down t h i s h i e r a r c h y and t h e n up a g a i n , m a n i f e s t i n g i t s e l f as e v e r y l i n k i n t h e c h a i n i n o r d e r to e x p e r i e n c e a l l knowledge, b e f o r e i t can r e t u r n t o t h e womb from w h i c h i t was h u r l e d a t c r e a t i o n , t h e One o r c o m p l e t e u n i t y o f w h i c h i t i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t . J u s t as r e a l i t y i s a S p h e r e , t h o u g h m a n i f e s t e d w i t h i n c r e a -t i o n as a g y r e , or even p a r t of a g y r e , so t h e r e a l i t y of t h e s p i r i t i s a whole o f w h i c h any m a n i f e s t a t i o n , on any l e v e l of t h e h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g , i s but a s m a l l p a r t . The d i v e r s e s t r u g g l e s of t h e m u l t i f a r i o u s s p i r i t s i n t h e drama a r e t h u s , i n t h e f i n a l a n a l y s i s , t h e s t r u g g l e s of one s p i r i t , who works, p a i n f u l l y but s u r e l y , to r e v e r s e t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n b r o u g h t about by c r e a t i o n . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS C h a p t e r I . THE DRAMATIST AS METAPHYSICIAN I . I I . The M e t a p h y s i c i a n I I I . The M e t a p h y s i c i a n v e r s u s t h e D r a m a t i s t IV. The M e t a p h y s i c s i n t h e Drama I I . THE HIERARCHY OF BEING IN THE DRAMA I . I I . Beyond U n i t y I I I . C r e a t i o n IV. The Many V. C o n f l i c t I I I . FORGETTING, LEARNING, REMEMBERING AND FORGETTING: THE JOURNEY OF THE SPIRIT THROUGH DISCARNATE TO INCARNATE L I F E AND BACK I . I I . F o r g e t t i n g I I I . L e a r n i n g ( A c q u i r i n g M e mories) IV. Remembering (Dreaming Back) V. P o s t c r i p t IV. "HE BURNS THE EARTH AS IF HE WERE A F I R E " CHANCE, CHOICE, AND THE SPIRITUAL SEEKER IN THE DRAMA I. I I . Chance I I I . C h o i c e IV. S e e k e r s V. V. THE COMPLETED SYMBOL SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY v A AV (A) AV (B) CP CP1 DrC DWL E & I FFT L M MRL MPQ PASL SP TPBS UP I & I I V & B VE VP1 WTIN Y & TSM Ab b r e v i a t i o n s A u t o b i o g r a p h i e s  A V i s i o n (1925) A V i s i o n (193 7) C o l l e c t e d Poems  C o l l e c t e d P l a y s D r u i d C r a f t : The W r i t i n g , of "The Shadowy W a t e r s . " M a n u s c r i p t s of W. B. Y e a t s I. L e t t e r s on P o e t r y from W. B. Y e a t s to D o r o t h y  W e l l e s l e y E s s a y s and I n t r o d u c t i o n s F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s of t h e I r i s h P e a s a n t r y L e t t e r s , ed. A l l a n Wade M y t h o l o g i e s Ah Sweet D a n c e r : W. B. Y e a t s , Margot Ruddock--A  C o r r e s p o n d e n c e , ed. Roger McHugh W. B. Y e a t s , The W r i t i n g of the P l a y e r Queen, e d. C u r t i s B. B r a d f o r d Per Arnica S i l e n t i a Lunae The S p e c k l e d B i r d , ed. W i l l i a m H. O ' D o n n e l l Tower o f P o l i s h e d B l a c k S t o n e s (The Shadowy W a t e r s ) U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e , ed. J o hn P F r a y n e V i s i o n s and B e l i e f s The V a r i o r u m E d i t i o n of t h e Poems of W. B. Y e a t s  The V a r i o r u m E d i t i o n of t h e P l a y s of W. B. Y e a t s  Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g W. B. Y e a t s and T. S t u r g e Moore, T h e i r C o r r e s p o n -dence 19 01-19 3 7, ed. U r s u l a B r i d g e s v i C h a p t e r 1 : The D r a m a t i s t as M e t a p h y s i c i a n I W. B. Y e a t s w r o t e of h i s f i r s t p u b l i s h e d p l a y t h a t " I f I had n o t made magic my c o n s t a n t s t u d y ... The C o u n t e s s  K a t h l e e n c o u l d n o t have e v e r come to e x i s t " (L_ 211) and o f h i s l a s t p l a y , The D e a t h o f C u c h u l a i n , t h a t "my ' p r i v a t e p h i l o s o p h y ' i s t h e r e b u t t h e r e must be no s i g n o f i t ; a l l must be l i k e an o l d f a i r y t a l e " (L 9 1 7 ) . S i m i l a r r e f e r e n c e s t o o t h e r p l a y s can be f o u n d s c a t t e r e d t h r o u g h o u t Y e a t s ' s l e t t e r s , t h e n o t e s to t h e p l a y s , and many of h i s e s s a y s . Thus he d e s c r i b e d The Shadowy Waters i n 1897 as " m a g i c a l and m y s t i c a l beyond a n y t h i n g I have done" (L_ 280) , w h i l e he s a i d of The H e m e ' s Egg i n 1935 t h a t " S h r i P u r o h i t Swami i s w i t h me, and t h e p l a y i s h i s p h i l o s o p h y i n a f a b l e , o r mine c o n -f i r m e d by him" (DWL 4 6 ) , and o f P u r g a t o r y i n 1938 t h a t " 'I have put n o t h i n g i n t o t h e p l a y t h a t seemed p i c t u r e s q u e ; I have put t h e r e my own c o n v i c t i o n s about t h i s w o r l d and t h e n e x t ' " (DWL 2 0 2 ) . The u n i c o r n , t h e c e n t r a l symbol o f two of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , i s "a p r i v a t e symbol b e l o n g i n g t o my mys-t i c a l o r d e r " (L 6 6 2 ) ; The Cat and t h e Moon i s composed of " i n c i d e n t s and metaphors t h a t a r e r e l a t e d t o c e r t a i n b e l i e f s o f mine as a r e t h e p a t t e r n s upon a P e r s i a n c a r p e t t o some 2 a n c i e n t f a i t h and p h i l o s o p h y " (VP1 8 0 5 ) . M o r e o v e r , w h i l e Y e a t s s t r u g g l e d f o r o v e r twenty y e a r s t o remove p h i l o s o p h i c a l a b s t r a c t i o n s f r o m The P l a y e r Queen, b e l i e v i n g t h a t "my p h i l o -s o p h i c a l t e n d e n c y s p o i l s my p l a y w r i t i n g " (L 5 3 3 ) , he n e v e r -t h e l e s s w r o t e r a t h e r p r o u d l y of The H e m e ' s Egg t h a t i t has more " p h i l o s o p h i c d e p t h " t h a n t h e f o r m e r p l a y (DWL 4 3 ) . A s t u d y of Y e a t s ' s ' p r i v a t e p h i l o s o p h y ' as i t i s deve-l o p e d i n t h e drama i s w a r r a n t e d on the b a s i s of t h e s e s t a t e -ments a l o n e . The need f o r su c h a s t u d y i s u n d e r s c o r e d by Y e a t s ' s o b s e s s i o n w i t h b o t h o r t h o d o x and u n o r t h o d o x systems of b e l i e f t h r o u g h o u t h i s l i f e , an o b s e s s i o n w h i c h was s t r o n g enough t o d i s r u p t t h e w r i t i n g of s e v e r a l p l a y s , and w h i c h b r o u g h t h i s d r a m a t i c work t o a v i r t u a l s t a n d s t i l l f o r l o n g p e r i o d s of h i s l i f e . Y e a t s t h e d r a m a t i s t and Y e a t s t h e m e t a p h y s i c i a n a r e i n f a c t v i r t u a l l y i n s e p a r a b l e , as I hope to d e m o n s t r a t e i n t h i s t h e s i s . W h i l e w r i t i n g The P l a y e r  Queen, Y e a t s d e v e l o p e d t h e t h e o r y o f o p p o s i t e s w h i c h would f i g u r e p r o m i n e n t l y i n A V i s i o n ; a r e h e a r s a l of At t h e Hawk's  W e l l i n s p i r e d him t o b e g i n h i s f i r s t l o n g p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e , " P e r Arnica S i l e n t i a L u nae." C o n v e r s e l y , the ' r e l i g i o u s ' or ' m y s t i c a l ' o r ' p h i l o s o p h i c ' b e l i e f s w h i c h Y e a t s e s p o u s e d i n f i l t r a t e , and shape, most of t h e p l a y s . The l a t t e r i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g , g i v e n Y e a t s ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g 3 o f t h e n e c e s s a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p between drama and r e l i g i o n w h i c h he o u t l i n e d i n h i s v o l u m i n o u s body of d r a m a t i c t h e o r y . As i s w e l l known, Y e a t s d e p l o r e d t h e w i d e s p r e a d a c c e p t a n c e a t t h e end of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y o f the s c i e n t i f i c ( r a t i o n a l i s t i c ) e x p l a n a t i o n o f l i f e w h i c h n e g a t e d th e s p i -r i t u a l l i f e , n o t o n l y i n o t h e r w o r l d s , but i n t h i s w o r l d , and w i t h i n man h i m s e l f . He was e s p e c i a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the d e g r e e t o w h i c h t h i s w o r l d - v i e w had p e r m e a t e d even the a r t s , and o f t e n r e i t e r a t e d h i s b e l i e f t h a t t h e s t e r i l i t y of modern a r t i n g e n e r a l , and of modern drama i n p a r t i c u l a r , was due to i t s d i v o r c e f r o m myth and r e l i g i o n . Y e a t s w i s h e d t o r e u n i t e a r t and r e l i g i o n , and p a r t i c u l a r l y drama and r e l i g i o n , as George M. H a r p e r has n o t e d i n h i s s t u d y of Y e a t s ' s d r a m a t i c t h e o r y , "The M i n g l i n g of Heaven and E a r t h " : 'The more r e l i g i o u s t h e s u b j e c t - m a t t e r of an a r t , ' he w r o t e , 'the more w i l l i t be as i t were, s t a t i o n -a r y , and t h e more a n c i e n t w i l l be t h e e m o t i o n t h a t i t a r o u s e s and t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e t h a t i t c a l l s up b e f o r e our e y e s . ' Such arguments f o r a r t as r e l i g i o n a r e t h e b a s i s of Y e a t s ' s s y m b o l i c a e s t h e t i c . Y e a t s s t r u g g l e d to d e v e l o p a f o r m of drama w h i c h w o u l d b e s t f u r t h e r t h i s g o a l , and t h a t would i n c o r p o r a t e h i s r e l i -g i o u s b e l i e f s n o t o n l y i n t o t h e words and l y r i c s , b u t i n t o t h e v e r y movement and r i t u a l o f t h e p l a y s . T h a t the f o r m "The M i n g l i n g o f Heaven and E a r t h : Y e a t s ' s t h e o r y of T h e a t r e , " New Y e a t s P a p e r s X ( D u b l i n : Dolmen P r e s s , 1975), pp. 17-8. 4 w h i c h t h u s e v o l v e d i s s t r i k i n g l y s i m i l a r to t h e J a p a n e s e Noh drama i s a l m o s t a c c i d e n t a l , a r e s u l t of t h e i r s i m i l a r w o r l d -v i e w . Though the J a p a n e s e p l a y s p r o v i d e d Y e a t s w i t h an e s t a b l i s h e d t r a d i t i o n f o r h i s own d r a m a t i c e x p e r i m e n t s , and t h u s gave him g r e a t e r c o n f i d e n c e i n them, t h e s e p l a y s a c t u a l l y i n f l u e n c e d t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of Y e a t s ' s drama f a r l e s s t h a n i s o f t e n s u p p o s e d . I t can c e r t a i n l y be a r g u e d , as V i r g i n i a Moore d i d as e a r l y as 1954, t h a t t h e p l a y s a r e a t l e a s t as i n d e b t e d t o t h e d r a m a t i c r i t u a l s of magic u s e d by t h e e s o t e r i c o r d e r of t h e G o l d e n Dawn w h i c h Y e a t s j o i n e d on March 7, 1890, and t o t h e p a r a l l e l D r u i d i c r i t u a l s w h i c h he and a number o f G o l d e n Dawn members s p e n t t e n y e a r s 2 d e v i s i n g a r o u n d t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y . B e f o r e s t u d y i n g Y e a t s ' s b e l i e f s i n t h e c o n t e x t of t h e p l a y s , however, some a t t e m p t must be made t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r n a t u r e and o r i g i n . Y e a t s o f t e n d e c l a r e d t h a t he was m o l d i n g h i s b e l i e f s i n t o a c o h e r e n t s y s t e m of t h o u g h t , a s y s t e m w h i c h , though he b e l i e v e d i n i t as an i n d e p e n d e n t body of knowledge, would a l s o p r o v i d e t h e "metaphors f o r [ h i s ] p o e t r y " (AV (B) 8 ) . Y e a t s a l t e r n a t e d between c a l l i n g t h i s s y s t e m h i s ' r e l i g i o u s s y s t e m ' and h i s ' p r i v a t e p h i l o -sophy' ; t h e terms a r e i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e s i n c e f o r him b o t h V i r g i n i a Moore, The U n i c o r n : W i l l i a m B u t l e r Y e a t s ' s  S e a r c h f o r R e a l i t y (New Y o r k : The M a c M i l l a n Co., 1954), pp. 27, 73-83. 5 d i s c i p l i n e s have i n common t h e i r c e n t r a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e n a t u r e of t h e s o u l or s p i r i t . F o r our p u r p o s e s i t i s s i m p l e s t t o l a b e l i t a m e t a p h y s i c s . I I . The M e t a p h y s i c i a n I t was i n s e a r c h o f a c o h e r e n t , b u t p e r s o n a l , meta-p h y s i c s t h a t , Y e a t s t e l l s u s , he began h i s s t u d y o f e s o t e r i c t r a d i t i o n s i n t h e 1880's: Some were l o o k i n g f o r s p i r i t u a l h a p p i n e s s and f o r some form of unknown power, but I had a p r a c t i c a l o b j e c t . I w i s h e d f o r a s y s t e m of t h o u g h t t h a t would l e a v e my i m a g i n a t i o n f r e e to c r e a t e as i t chose and y e t make a l l t h a t i t c r e a t e d , or c o u l d c r e a t e , p a r t of one h i s t o r y , and t h a t t h e s o u l ' s . (AV (A) x i ) Y e a t s ' s y o u t h f u l f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h T h eosophy and t h e t e a c h i n g s of Mme B l a v a t s k y , and w i t h K a b b a l a r i a n and R o s i c r u c i a n p h i l o s o p h i e s t h r o u g h MacGregor M a t h e r s and o t h e r s i s w e l l -3 documented, n o t l e a s t i n h i s own w r i t i n g . T h a t Y e a t s became a s e r i o u s s t u d e n t of the o c c u l t , and t h a t he p u r s u e d t h i s s t u d y u n t i l l a t e i n l i f e , i s l e s s w e l l - d o c u m e n t e d , and was u n t i l r e c e n t l y i g n o r e d by many Y e a t s s c h o l a r s , who p r e -f e r r e d to a s c r i b e h i s s e e m i n g l y random s a m p l i n g of v a r i o u s C f . h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l , The S p e c k l e d B i r d . W r i t e s W i l l i a m Murphy i n Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t , ed. G. M. H a r p e r ( T o r o n t o : The B r y a n t P r e s s L t d . , 1975), p. 25: "Re a d e r s o f . . . t h a t i n t e n s e , a s t o n i s h i n g l y p e r s o n a l a u t o b i o -g r a p h i c a l n o v e l . . . w i l l u n d e r s t a n d and a p p r e c i a t e t h e d e p t h , e a r n e s t n e s s and s i n c e r i t y of t h e p o e t ' s d e v o t i o n t o t h e o c c u l t . " 6 m y s t i c a l b i l l s - o f - f a r e t o y o u t h f u l d i l l e t a n t i s m . ~" However, a number o f t h o r o u g h books t r a c i n g Y e a t s ' s i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h the o c c u l t have a p p e a r e d r e c e n t l y , and i t i s now i n d i s p u t a b l e t h a t Y e a t s ' s i n t e r e s t i n the We s t e r n m a g i c a l t r a d i t i o n as w e l l as i n m y s t i c i s m and s p i r i t i s m n e v e r waned. Y e a t s , i t i s a c k n o w l e d g e d , was an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y a c t i v e member of the T h e o s o p h i c a l S o c i e t y and l a t e r of t h e O r d e r of t h e G o l -den Dawn and i t s s u c c e s s o r t h e O r d e r of the S t e l l a M a t u t i n a . He b e l o n g e d t o t h e l a t t e r two s o c i e t i e s f o r t h i r t y - t w o y e a r s and, as G. M. H a r p e r documents i n h i s Y e a t s ' s G o l d e n Dawn, he h e l d t h e p o s t of I n s t r u c t o r o f M y s t i c a l P h i l o s o p h y f o r y e a r s , and was a key f i g u r e i n t h e r e - s t r u c t u r i n g of t h e o r d e r a f t e r M a t h e r s ' demise i n 1900.~* Y e a t s t o o k h i s e s o t e r i c s t u d i e s v e r y s e r i o u s l y . H i s e s s a y " M a g i c , " an expose of h i s main c o n v i c t i o n s on t h e sub-j e c t , i n s i s t s t h a t i t i s i m p e r a t i v e to v o i c e h i s b e l i e f s w h i l e " e n d u r i n g u n b e l i e f and m i s b e l i e f and r i d i c u l e as b e s t one may" (E & I 3 8 ) . M a g i c , as Y e a t s d e s c r i b e s i t , i s H a r o l d Bloom's Y e a t s (New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970) i s a good example o f works i g n o r i n g Y e a t s ' s i n t e r e s t i n the o c c u l t . W r i t e s H a r p e r i n Y e a t s ' s G o l d e n Dawn (New Y o r k : B a r n e s and N o b l e , 1974), p. 157, t h i s " c o m p r e h e n s i v e s t u d y . . . has no e n t r y f o r G o l d e n Dawn, R o s i c r u c i a n i s m , o r T h e o s o p h i c a l S o c i e t y i n t h e i n d e x . " H a r p e r , Y e a t s ' s G o l d e n Dawn, pp. 80, 30, 181, and e l s e w h e r e . 7 somewhat d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e t r i c k s o f i l l u s i o n many o f us a s s o c i a t e i t w i t h . Y e a t s i s r e f e r r i n g t o r i t u a l m a g i c , t r a d i t i o n a l l y a r i g o r o u s l y s p i r i t u a l and s c i e n t i f i c d i s c i -p l i n e e s p o u s i n g a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l d o c t r i n e w h i c h t e a c h e s t h a t man i s one w i t h n a t u r e and one w i t h t h e gods. I s r a e l R e g a r d i e , a f e l l o w member o f the G o l d e n Dawn and a p r o l i f i c d e m y s t i f i e r of m a g i c , w r i t e s of t h e m a g i c i a n t h a t , H i s i s t h e t a s k . . . o f t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e u n i v e r s e , and of t r a n s m u t i n g the base e l e m e n t s o f m a t t e r i n t o t h e s u b s t a n c e of t h e v e r i t a b l e s p i r i t . A c o n s t a n t a l c h e m i c a l o p e r a t i o n must t h e whole of h i s l i f e become, d u r i n g w h i c h he d i s t i l l s i n the a l e m b i c of h i s h e a r t the g r o s s n e s s of t h e w o r l d i n t o the e s s e n c e o f the c l o u d l e s s s k i e s . 6 Y e a t s u s e d magic i n t h i s way, n o t as a means o f a c q u i r i n g t e m p o r a l power, b u t as a key t o a h i g h e r s p i r i t u a l l i f e . T r a d i t i o n a l m a g i c, a l o n g w i t h Theosophy and s p i r i t i s m , was f o r him a means of r e d i s c o v e r i n g t h e s p i r i t u a l and i m a g i n a -t i v e t r u t h s w h i c h he f e l t had been u n d e r s t o o d i n a n c i e n t t i m e s and s t i l l were by t h e u n e d u c a t e d c l a s s e s s u c h as t h e I r i s h p e a s a n t r y and t h e s e r v a n t g i r l s o f Soho, b u t w h i c h were l a r g e l y l o s t i n t h e modern w o r l d t h r o u g h an o v e r e m p h a s i s on the mind and t h e r a t i o n a l f a c u l t i e s . Y e a t s s p e n t h i s l i f e t r y i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d the n a t u r e of t h e s p i r i t , and welcomed any o p p o r t u n i t y t o g l i m p s e a n o t h e r f a c e t of i t . F o r t h i s I s r a e l R e g a r d i e , The T r e e o f L i f e : A Study i n M a g i c (New Y o r k : Samuel W e i s e r , 1969), p. 234. 8 r e a s o n he immersed h i m s e l f i n v a r i o u s s t u d i e s w h i c h , i n o c c u l t c i r c l e s , were c o n s i d e r e d i n c o m p a t i b l e ' ' ; " I was c o m p a r i n g one form o f b e l i e f w i t h a n o t h e r , and l i k e P a r a -c e l s u s , who c l a i m e d t o have c o l l e c t e d h i s knowledge from m i d w i f e and hangman, I was d i s c o v e r i n g a p h i l o s o p h y " (VB 3 1 1 ) . Y e a t s s t u d i e d t h e s e d i s c i p l i n e s c a r e f u l l y , b u t he d i d n o t s w a l l o w a l l t h e i r t e n e t s w h o l e , and c o u l d l a u g h a t t h e f o l l i e s and e x c e s s e s of e a c h . W h i l e s t i l l an a c t i v e Theo-s o p h i s t , f o r :example, Y e a t s w r o t e t o K. Tynan about "a sad a c c i d e n t [which] happened a t Madame B l a v a t s k y ' s l a t e l y . . . . A b i g m a t e r i a l i s t s a t on t h e a s t r a l d o u b l e of a p o o r young I n d i a n . I t was s i t t i n g on a s o f a and he was t o o m a t e r i a l t o be a b l e t o see i t . C e r t a i n l y a sad a c c i d e n t " (L_ 5 9 ) . T h i s s e n s e of humour, c o u p l e d w i t h a h e a l t h y s k e p t i c i s m , i s v e r y much i n e v i d e n c e t h r o u g h o u t h i s work, and i s an i m p o r t a n t p a r t even o f A V i s i o n w h i c h , as H. Adams has p o i n t e d o u t , g i s much more t o n g u e - i n - c h e e k t h a n i s g e n e r a l l y a c k n o w l e d g e d . A b a l a n c e of b e l i e f and s k e p t i c i s m i s i l l u s t r a t e d even by T h e o s o p h i s t s c o n s i d e r magic t o be f a n t a s t i c and s u p e r s -t i t i o u s , and m a g i c i a n s d i s m i s s s p i r i t i s m as a p a s s i v e p r a c t i c e w h i c h d e a l s w i t h t h e l o w e r a s t r a l p l a n e , " t h e r e g i o n of Q l i p h o t i c s h e l l s and demons and d e c a y i n g phantasms of t h e dead," i n s t e a d of w i t h h i g h e r s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s ( R e g a r d i e , T r e e of L i f e , p. 153). H. Adams, "Some Y e a t s i a n V e r s i o n s of Comedy," In  E x c i t e d R e v e r i e , ed. N. J e f f a r e s (New Y o r k : M a c m i l l a n , 1965), pp. 152-170. 9 h i s e a r l i e s t p r o s e f i c t i o n , much of w h i c h has m a g i c a l p r a c t i c e s f o r i t s s u b j e c t m a t t e r . The s t o r i e s "Rosa A l c h e -m i c a " and "The T a b l e s of t h e Law" s a t i r i z e t h e u n b e l i e v i n g n a r r a t o r , b u t t h e y a l s o poke f u n a t t h e a d e p t s and t h e i r b e l i e f s . T h i s b a l a n c e i s e v i d e n t i n many p l a y s , n o t a b l y i n t h e h i g h l y e s o t e r i c , but e q u a l l y i r r e v e r e n t , The H e m e ' s Y e a t s ' s o n g o i n g d a l l i a n c e w i t h v a r i o u s e s o t e r i c s t u d i e s i s t h u s i n d i s p u t a b l e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , h i s p h i l o s o p h i c and s p i r i t u a l a d h e r e n c e i s i n t h e main c o n s i d e r a b l y more o r t h o -dox t h a n t h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e o c c u l t would l e a d us to b e l i e v e . To b e g i n w i t h , t h e W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h i c t r a d i -t i o n has v e r y s t r o n g t i e s w i t h t h e o c c u l t t r a d i t i o n w h i c h was r e s u r f a c i n g a t t h e end of t h e c e n t u r y i n E u r o p e , and w h i c h Y e a t s was i m m e r s i n g h i m s e l f i n . As James O l n e y a r g u e s i n h i s s t u d y of Y e a t s and J u n g , the t r a d i t i o n w h i c h we c a l l P l a t o n i s m o r N e o p l a -t o n i s m and t o w h i c h S t . A u g u s t i n e as w e l l as P l o t i n u s c o n t r i b u t e d r i c h l y . . . l i v e d a g a i n i n Y e a t s and Jung; . . . t h i s t r a d i t i o n had, as an e s s e n t i a l a s p e c t of i t s makeup, or as a s o r t of m i r r o r -image o f i t s e l f , an o c c u l t component o r e s o t e r i c p a r a l l e l . G o i n g back t o P l a t o h i m s e l f , and even e a r l i e r t o P y t h a g o r a s and E m p e d b c l e s , th e e x o t e r i c t r a d i t i o n had i t s c o u n t e r p a r t i n a p a r a l l e l e s o -t e r i c t r a d i t i o n ; and p o i n t by p o i n t a l o n g t h e i r p a r a l l e l p a t h s t h e p h i l o s o p h y o f f e r e d j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h a t o t h e r d a r k e r b r o t h e r . 9 James O l n e y , " Y e a t s and J u n g , " Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t , P. 29. 10 Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h y can i n many i n s t a n c e s be t r a c e d b o t h t o o c c u l t s o u r c e s s u c h as Mme B l a v a t s k y ' s books o r G o l d e n Dawn t e n e t s , and t o N e o p l a t o n i c w r i t e r s s u c h as P l o t i n u s , as I s h a l l a r g u e t h r o u g h a c l o s e r e x a m i n a t i o n of t h e t e x t s i n C h a p t e r I I of t h i s s t u d y - - o n many p o i n t s t h e s e t r a d i t i o n s a r e v i r t u a l l y i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e . ^ I n t h e words o f R o b e r t S n u k a l , Once t h e r e a d e r of Y e a t s ' s more a b s t r u s e p r o s e has some i d e a of t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l a n t e c e d e n t s of Y e a t s ' s more o b s c u r e n o t i o n s t h e y b e g i n t o seem l e s s p u r e l y t h e r e s u l t of h i s d a b b l i n g i n s p i r i -t u a l i s m and more a c o n t i n u a t i o n , however o b s c u r e d , of t h e i d e a s w h i c h were c u r r e n t among the p h i l o -s o p h e r s of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . ^ W h i l e Y e a t s a b s o r b e d a g r e a t d e a l o f e x o t e r i c p h i l o s o p h y , i n d i r e c t l y , t h r o u g h h i s o c c u l t s t u d i e s and t h r o u g h o t h e r p o e t i c a l w r i t e r s s u c h as S h e l l e y , C o l e r i d g e and B l a k e , he a l s o d e v o t e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of time t o t h e s t u d y o f W e s t e r n and E a s t e r n p h i l o s o p h i e s . He became a c q u a i n t e d w i t h t h e l a t t e r e a r l y i n l i f e , t h r o u g h h i s c o n t a c t w i t h M o h i n i C h a t t e r j e e and h i s f r i e n d AE (George R u s s e l l ) , as w e l l as t h r o u g h t h e I n d i a n d r a m a t i s t T a g o r e , and t h i s i n t e r e s t was O l n e y , pp. 38-9: O l n e y p o i n t s out t h a t " P l o t i n u s , who d i d n o t p r a c t i c e magic but who ' B e l i e v e d i n i t , ' p r o v i d e d t h e p h i l o s o p h i c b r i d g e between P l a t o and t h e N e o p l a t o n i c t h e u r g i s t s i n h i s e x p l a n a t i o n of how magic w o r k s " i n t h e F o u r t h Ennead, T r a c t a t e 4, no. 40. R o b e r t S n u k a l , H i g h T a l k : The P h i l o s o p h i c a l P o e t r y  o f W. B. Y e a t s (Cambridge a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1973), p. 13. 11 r e k i n d l e d i n t h e l a s t few y e a r s o f h i s l i f e by h i s f r i e n d -s h i p w i t h t h e I n d i a n monk S h r i P u r o h i t Swami, w i t h whom be 1 2 t r a n s l a t e d The Ten P r i n c i p a l U p a n i s h a d s . Y e a t s ' s i n t e r e s t i n W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y t o o k l o n g e r to d e v e l o p , s i n c e he was so s k e p t i c a l i n h i s y o u t h o f t h e v a l u e o f l o g i c a l , a b s t r a c t t h o u g h t , e q u a t i n g i t , l i k e B l a k e , w i t h a d e a r t h o f h o l i n e s s (VB 2 0 ) . N e v e r t h e l e s s , f o l l o w i n g t h e w r i t i n g o f t h e f i r s t v e r s i o n of A V i s i o n , a d e c i d e d l y a b s t r a c t work ( t h o u g h Y e a t s at f i r s t t r i e d t o c l o t h e i t i n m y t h ) , he began t o r e a d W e s t e r n p h i l o s o p h y s e r i o u s l y , and s p e n t t h e t e n y e a r s b e t -ween 1925 and 1935 s t u d y i n g i t " c h i e f l y t o t e s t A V i s i o n , " as V i r g i n i a Moore a t t e s t s . " H a v i n g l o n g r a i l e d a g a i n s t a b s t r a c t t h o u g h t , he f e l l upon p h i l o s o p h y w i t h w o l f i s h v o r a -c i t y . A p o e t of c o n c r e t e m e n t a l i t y needs a b s t r a c t i o n s , he 1 3 s a i d , t o ' s e t h i s e x p e r i e n c e i n o r d e r ' . " Thus, as Y e a t s e x p l a i n e d t o T. S t u r g e Moore i n 1926, When i t j^ A V i s i o n ^ was w r i t t e n , I s t a r t e d t o r e a d . I r e a d f o r months e v e r y day P l a t o and P l o t i n u s . Then I s t a r t e d on B e r k e l e y and C r o c e and G e n t i l e . You i n t r o d u c e d me to y o u r b r o t h e r _the r e a l i s t George M o o r e ] ' s work and t o B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l , and I f o u n d E d d i n g t o n and one or two o t h e r s f o r m y s e l f . I am s t i l l however a n y t h i n g b u t a t my e a s e w i t h r e c e n t p h i l o s o p h y . I f i n d y o u r b r o t h e r e x t r a o r d i -n a r i l y o b s c u r e . (Y & TSM 83) 1 o W. B. Y e a t s and Shree P u r o h i t Swami, t r a n s . , The Ten  P r i n c i p a l U p a n i s h a d s (London: F a b e r & F a b e r L t d . , 1937). 1 3 V. Moore, U n i c o r n , pp. 302-3. 12 He p e r s e v e r e d , w i t h b o u n d l e s s e n t h u s i a s m and i n c r e a s i n g c o n -f i d e n c e , as h i s l o n g p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o r r e s p o n d e n c e w i t h T. S. 14 Moore a t t e s t s . The p h i l o s o p h e r s who i n f l u e n c e d him t h e most d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d a r e , a c c o r d i n g t o V. Moore, " C h r o -n o l o g i c a l l y , H e r a c l i t u s , P y t h a g o r a s , E m p e d o c l e s , P l a t o , P l o t i n u s , N i c h o l a s of C u s a , t h e Cambridge P l a t o n i s t s , B e r k e l e y , t h e German and I t a l i a n i d e a l i s t s , W h i t e h e a d , and M c T a g g a r t . " ^ Most of t h e s e men a r e m e n t i o n e d r e p e a t e d l y i n t h e 1937 e d i t i o n o f A V i s i o n . Y e a t s immersed h i m s e l f i n t h e s e d i v e r s e s c h o o l s of t h o u g h t w i t h a s p e c i f i c p u r p o s e i n mind: t o mold a p e r s o n a l m e t a p h y s i c s , a p e r s o n a l " s y s t e m o f t h o u g h t . " I t i s my c o n t e n t i o n t h a t he s u c c e e d e d i n d e v e l o p i n g a c o h e s i v e p h i -l o s o p h y , and t h a t t h i s p h i l o s o p h y i s by and l a r g e o r i g i n a l , a s y n t h e s i s o n l y o f t h o s e t r a d i t i o n s w h i c h c o r r o b o r a t e d h i s own f l e d g l i n g b e l i e f s . T h e r e i s , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , l i t t l e s u p p o r t f o r t h i s c o n c l u s i o n among c u r r e n t s t u d i e s of Y e a t s ' s i H B e s i d e s c o n s i s t e n t l y p o i n t i n g out f l a w s i n t h e r e a l i s t G. Moore's a r g u m e n t s , he a l s o began t o r a i l a g a i n s t B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l : "You say B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l s a y s Kant smashed h i s own p h i l o s o p h y , by h i s d o c t r i n e o f p r a c t i c a l r e a s o n . So he does s a y , and what more can you e x p e c t from a man who has been e n t i r e l y b a l d d u r i n g t h e whole c o u r s e of h i s l i f e . He m e r e l y r e p e a t s a p i e c e of common e l e c t i o n e e r i n g n o n s e n s e w h i c h w r i t e r has c o p i e d from w r i t e r f o r g e n e r a t i o n s " ( 1 2 4 ) . The U n i c o r n , p. 344. 13 work, m a i n l y b e c a u s e Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s has n e v e r r e c e i v e d t h e a t t e n t i o n i t d e s e r v e s . W h i l e a few i s o l a t e d c r i t i c s , n o t a b l y V i r g i n i a Moore, t o whose book I am g r e a t l y i n d e b t e d f o r the d i r e c t i o n of t h i s s t u d y , and, to a c e r t a i n e x t e n t , F.A.C. W i l s o n , have l o n g a r g u e d t h a t Y e a t s d e v e l o p e d a c o -h e r e n t and e r u d i t e p h i l o s o p h y o f h i s own out of t h e s e d i s p a -r a t e s o u r c e s , most s t u d e n t s of Y e a t s assumed u n t i l r e c e n t l y that, w h a t e v e r h i s o t h e r m e r i t s , he was n o t much of a t h i n k e r . T h i s was c e r t a i n l y T. S t u r g e Moore's o p i n i o n , and t h e e d i t o r of t h e i r c o r r e s p o n d e n c e , U r s u l a B r i d g e s , hseems t o a g r e e w i t h Moore's s l y remark t h a t not o n l y c o u l d Y e a t s n o t u n d e r -s t a n d George Moore's p h i l o s o p h y , he p r o b a b l y c o u l d n o t u n d e r -s t a n d h i s own (Y & TSM x v i i ) . In f a c t , a c a r e f u l s t u d y o f t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n c e r e v e a l s t h a t Y e a t s was e a s i l y t h e more a s t u t e of t h e two. He p a t i e n t l y e x p l a i n e d h i s p o i n t of v i e w , and r e p e a t e d h i s e x p l a n a t i o n s o v e r and o v e r a g a i n when Moore m i s u n d e r s t o o d him, u n t i l f i n a l l y , t hough g o o d - h u m o u r e d l y , he s t o p p e d t r y i n g . Why spend so much t i m e e x p l a i n i n g h i m s e l f to one who c o u l d o n l y q u i b b l e w i t h words? ^ T h a t Y e a t s ' s t h o u g h t must be t a k e n s e r i o u s l y i s a r g u e d e l o q u e n t l y by K a t h l e e n R a i n e i n h e r a r t i c l e , "Hades Wrapped i n C l o u d . " R a i n e a r g u e s n o t o n l y t h a t Y e a t s was a competent p h i l o s o p h e r , See s u c h l e t t e r s as number 68, pp. 80-1 i n t h e c o r r e s -pondence . 14 a s s i m i l a t i n g a c o h e r e n t body of t h o u g h t from v a r i o u s t r a d i - : t i o n s and b e l i e f s , b ut t h a t h i s was " t h e l e a d i n g t h o u g h t o f h i s t i m e , " and t h u s m i s u n d e r s t o o d by h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . What seemed t o many a t the t i m e ( c o m p a r i n g Y e a t s t o E l i o t ) h i s weakness, h i s w i l f u l o b s c u r a n t i s m , we can now see as a s o u r c e of h i s s t r e n g t h and h i s l u c i d i t y i n the New Age we a r e e n t e r i n g . C u l t u r a l f r o n t i e r s a r e d i s s o l v i n g , and t o many the l a n g u a g e of I n d i a n m e t a p h y s i c s seems c l o s e r t o s p i r i t u a l e x p e r i e n c e and p s y c h o l o g i c a l knowledge t h a n t h e o v e r - r a t i o n a l t h e o l o g y of t h e C h r i s t i a n Church.17 R a i n e r e c o g n i z e s the d i s p a r a t e components w h i c h make up Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h y , but she does n o t r e d u c e i t t o the sum of i t s p a r t s . The t e n d e n c y o f o t h e r s t u d i e s now a p p e a r i n g w h i c h t a k e Y e a t s ' s t h o u g h t s e r i o u s l y i s , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , t o t r a c e i t t o one p a r t i c u l a r s o u r c e or a n o t h e r , t h u s d e n y i n g Y e a t s b o t h b r e a d t h and. o r i g i n a l i t y . T h i s i s , of c o u r s e , the main p r o b l e m w i t h F. A. C. W i l s o n ' s two e a r l y s t u d i e s of Y e a t s ' s poems and p l a y s ; w h i l e h i s books a r e s c h o l a r l y and v e r y u s e f u l , W i l s o n spends t o o much time t r a c i n g e v e r y p o s -s i b l e N e o p l a t o n i c echo i n Y e a t s ' s work t o a s p e c i f i c s o u r c e i n t h a t v a s t l i t e r a t u r e . A more r e c e n t s t u d y , James O l n e y ' s e s s a y on Y e a t s and J u n g , c o n v i n c i n g l y u n e a r t h s o t h e r P l a t o n i c and N e o p l a t o n i c e l e m e n t s i n Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n A V i s i o n . However, O l n e y a l s o d i s p l a y s t h i s p r o p e n s i t y t o K. R a i n e , "Hades Wrapped i n C l o u d , " Y e a t s and t h e  O c c u l t , p. 84. 15 l a b e l Y e a t s ' s b e l i e f s as n a r r o w l y as p o s s i b l e . He c a l l s Y e a t s ' s i n s t r u c t o r s "good P l a t o n i s t s " and even s p e c u l a t e s t h a t P l a t o h i m s e l f , c o m m u n i c a t i n g f r o m a n o t h e r w o r l d , was one of t h e g h o s t l y i n s t r u c t o r s , f o r t h e r e a r e a number of s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s between th e s y s t e m of t h e Timaeus and t h e s y s t e m of A V i s i o n . 1 ° S i n c e O l n e y a c c e p t s t h a t P l a t o worked w i t h i n t h e t r a d i t i o n f i r s t begun by H e r a c l i t u s , E mpedocles and P a r m e n i d e s , why does he n o t a c c e p t t h a t Y e a t s a l s o t h o u g h t i n d e p e n d e n t l y w i t h i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n ? S i m i l a r l y , a f u l l - l e n g t h book on Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o e t r y , R. N. S n u k a l ' s H i g h T a l k , r a t h e r d i s c o n c e r t i n g l y a r g u e s t h a t Y e a t s i s r e a l l y a N e o - K a n t i a n . Here I must pause to r e b u t some o f S n u k a l ' s a r g u m e n t s , s i n c e he i s e x a -m i n i n g , and a t t i m e s d i s t o r t i n g , c o n c e p t s o f Y e a t s ' s w h i c h a r e i m p o r t a n t t o t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y . S n u k a l ' s w e l l - i n t e n t i o n e d and i n t e l l i g e n t book i s b a d l y m a r r e d by i t s wrong-headed p r e m i s e t h a t Y e a t s was above a l l t h i n g s an i d e a l i s t , and an i d e a l i s t n o t i n t h e s c h o o l of P l a t o and P l o t i n u s or even of B e r k e l e y , but i n t h a t of Kant and H e g e l . S n u k a l i g n o r e s t h e o c c u l t as an i n f l u e n c e on Y e a t s ' s l a t e r work, d i s m i s s e s t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e P l a t o n i s t s , and i n s i s t s t h a t Y e a t s " r e p u -d i a t e d " B e r k e l e y ' s t h o u g h t on t h e g r o u n d s t h a t , i n Y e a t s ' s O l n e y , " Y e a t s and J u n g , " Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t , p. .46. 16 19 T h i s words, B e r k e l e y "was i d e a l i s t and r e a l i s t a l i k e . " seems a r a t h e r shaky p r e m i s e f o r d i s m i s s i n g a t h i n k e r so o f t e n p r a i s e d by Y e a t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e Y e a t s c a l l s him-s e l f , i n t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n c e w i t h Moore, a l s o as much a r e a l i s t as an i d e a l i s t : " I t h i n k t h a t my own p o s i t i o n i s more r e a l i s t t h a n i d e a l i s t . I do n o t however see any f i n a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n " (Y & TSM 9 9 ) . S n u k a l t h u s a t t r i b u t e s to K a n t ' s i n f l u e n c e a l o n e b e l i e f s w h i c h can be t r a c e d t o o t h e r s o u r c e s . One example i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t . S n u k a l t r a c e s to K a n t ' s i n f l u e n c e what i s p e r h a p s Y e a t s ' s o l d e s t and most f i r m l y h e l d b e l i e f , t h a t t h e mind c r e a t e s t h e w o r l d , w h i c h t h u s e x i s t s o n l y w h i l e i t i s p e r c e i v e d . W r i t e s S n u k a l , W i t h j u s t a s l i g h t t w i s t K a n t ' s v i e w s can be t u r n e d i n t o Y e a t s ' s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t t h e w o r l d i s a p r o d u c t of t h e human mind. Space, t i m e , th e laws o f c a u s a l i t y , e t c . , a r e a l l forms of t h o u g h t w h i c h c r e a t e t h e w o r l d . 2 0 T h i s b e l i e f i s f o u n d i n Y e a t s ' s e a r l i e s t w r i t i n g s , as Edward E n g e l b e r g has p o i n t e d o u t ; :the e a r l y drama I s l a n d of S t a t u e s p r o j e c t s "a v i e w of a s e l f - g e n e r a t i n g and w o r l d - c r e a t i n g Ima-2 1 g i n a t i o n w h i c h Y e a t s n e v e r e n t i r e l y abandoned..." . T h i s same b e l i e f was s t r e s s e d by t h e e s o t e r i c s c h o o l s t o w h i c h Y e a t s was a f f i l i a t e d a t an e a r l y age. As S c h o p e n h a u e r w r o t e 19 S n u k a l , H i g h T a l k , p. 1, q u o t e d from E & I , p. 404. 20 S n u k a l , p. 7. 21 ti He Too Was i n A r c a d i a , " In E x c i t e d R e v e r i e 85 . > P • 17 i n h i s e s s a y "The W o r l d as I d e a , " " t h i s t r u t h [[that t h e w o r l d i s a thought]] was r e c o g n i z e d by t h e w i s e men o f I n d i a , a p p e a r i n g i n d e e d as t h e f u n d a m e n t a l t e n e t o f t h e V e d a n t a 2 2 p h i l o s o p h y a s c r i b e d t o V y a s a . . . " , a p h i l o s o p h y t o w h i c h Theosophy i n p a r t i c u l a r i s i n d e b t e d . M o r e o v e r , Y e a t s c r e d i t s b o t h P l o t i n u s and B e r k e l e y w i t h f u r t h e r i n g h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h i s b e l i e f . Has n o t P l o t i n u s w r i t t e n : ' L e t e v e r y s o u l r e c a l l , t h e n , a t t h e o u t s e t the t r u t h t h a t s o u l i s t h e a u t h o r o f a l l l i v i n g t h i n g s , t h a t i t has b r e a t h e d t h e l i f e i n t o them a l l w h a t e v e r i s n o u r i s h e d by e a r t h and s e a , a l l t h e c r e a t u r e s of t h e a i r , t h e d i v i n e s t a r s i n t h e s k y ; i t i s t h e maker o f t h e sun; i t s e l f formed and o r d e r e d t h i s v a s t heaven and c o n d u c t s a l l t h a t r h y t h m i c m o t i o n — a n d i t i s a p r i n c i p l e d i s t i n c t f r o m a l l t h e s e t o w h i c h i t g i v e s law and movement and l i f e , and i t must of n e c e s s i t y be more h o n o u r a b l e t h a n t h e y , f o r t h e y g a t h e r o r d i s s o l v e as s o u l b r i n g s them o r abandons them, but s o u l , s i n c e i t n e v e r can abandon i t s e l f , i s of e t e r n a l b e i n g ' ? ("Notes," VE 826) The more s p e c i f i c b e l i e f t h a t t h e mind c r e a t e s , and t h e r e f o r e can unmake, the w o r l d Y e a t s a t t r i b u t e s i n " B l o o d and t h e Moon" t o G o d - a p p o i n t e d B e r k e l e y t h a t p r o v e d a l l t h i n g s a dream j T h a t t h i s p r a g m a t i c a l , p r e p o s t e r o u s p i g o f a w o r l d , i t s f a r r o w s t h a t so s o l i d seem, Must v a n i s h i n t h e i n s t a n t i f the mind but change i t s theme .... (VE 481) A r t h u r S c h o p e n h a u e r , "The W o r l d as I d e a , " Man and  S p i r i t : The S p e c u l a t i v e P h i l o s o p h e r s , ed. S. Cummins and R. N. L i n s c o t t (New Y o r k : W a s h i n g t o n Square P r e s s , 1954), p. 446. 18 T h i s a t t r i b u t i o n i s c o r r o b o r a t e d by S c h o p e n h a u e r , who c l a i m s t h a t " B e r k e l e y . . . was t h e f i r s t who d i s t i n c t l y e n u n c i a t e d i t _the c o n c e p t t h a t 'the w o r l d i s an i d e a ' J , and by t h i s he r e n d e r e d a permanent s e r v i c e to p h i l o s o p h y . . . . K a n t ' s 23 p r i m a r y m i s t a k e was t h e n e g l e c t of t h i s p r i n c i p l e . . . " . I do n o t deny t h a t Y e a t s was g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d by K a n t , and p a r t i c u l a r l y by K a n t ' s d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e t h e o r y of a n t i n o m i e s , b u t t o s t r e s s t h e i n f l u e n c e o f Kant above a l l o t h e r s on Y e a t s ' s t h o u g h t , as S n u k a l has done, i s t o c o u r t d i s t o r t i o n . What must be s t r e s s e d i s t h a t Y e a t s was a s y n t h e s i z e r i n h i s r e a d i n g of p h i l o s o p h y as o f a n y t h i n g e l s e . He was not e x c l u s i v e l y a P l a t o n i s t , or a N e o p l a t o n i s t , or a Neo-K a n t i a n , b u t t o o k from a l l p h i l o s o p h e r s i d e a s w h i c h comple-mented h i s own b u r g e o n i n g s y s t e m o f t h o u g h t . Y e a t s welcomed the v a r i o u s t r a d i t i o n s t h a t came h i s way, f o r he wanted t o f e e l h i m s e l f i n t h e m a i n s t r e a m of t h o u g h t : t o f e e l t h a t he was h i s t o r i c a l l y r i g h t , and n o t j u s t r e a c t i n g t o a p a s t age. As he w r o t e t o T. S t u r g e Moore, I f e e l t h a t an i m a g i n a t i v e w r i t e r whose work draws him t o p h i l o s o p h y must a t t a c h h i m s e l f t o some g r e a t h i s t o r i c s c h o o l . My dreams and much p s y c h i c pheno-mena f o r c e me i n t o a c e r t a i n l i t t l e - t r o d d e n way but Sc h o p e n h a u e r , p. 446. 19 I must n o t go t o o f a r from t h e main E u r o p e a n t r a c k . . . . (Y & TSM 7) T h i s d e s i r e f o r t r a d i t i o n was f u e l e d n o t so. much by a l a c k of c o n f i d e n c e i n h i s own i d e a s ( t h o u g h t h e r e was an e l e m e n t of t h a t i n h i s e a r l y y e a r s ) as by h i s b e l i e f t h a t i f h i s i d e a s were t r u e t h e y would n o t be o r i g i n a l to him, but would be r e c e i v e d from t h e w o r l d s o u l , a n c i e n t t r u t h s en-s h r i n e d i n t h e o l d e s t r e l i g i o u s and p h i l o s o p h i c t r a d i t i o n s and i n t h e work of t h e most v e n e r a b l e o f p o e t s . T h i s b e l i e f i s e v i d e n t even i n t h e more s e l f - s e r v i n g s t a t e m e n t s o f h i s l a t e r l i f e , s u c h as t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e work of many of h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s : These new men a r e g o l d s m i t h s w o r k i n g w i t h a g l a s s s c r e w e d i n t o one e y e , w h i l e we s t r i d e ahead of t h e crowd, i t s swordsmen, i t s j u g g l e r s , l o o k i n g to r i g h t and l e f t . "To r i g h t and l e f t , ' by w h i c h I mean t h a t we need l i k e M i l t o n , S h a k e s p e a r e , S h e l l e y , v a s t s e n t i m e n t s , g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s s u p p o r t e d by t r a d i t i o n . (DWL 64-5) N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h o u g h Y e a t s t o o k p a i n s t o e x p l o r e a l l the s y stems o f b e l i e f w h i c h he came a c r o s s , t h e r e i s c o n s i d e -r a b l e e v i d e n c e i n h i s work t h a t he a s s i m i l a t e d o n l y t h o s e t r a d i t i o n s w h i c h c o n f i r m e d and e l a b o r a t e d t h e b e l i e f s w h i c h he i n t u i t e d as a young man. Y e a t s c l a i m s i n h i s Memoirs t h a t he h e l d h i s most i m p o r t a n t i d e a s by t h e age o f t w e n t y , t h o u g h he l a c k e d t h e words and c o n f i d e n c e w i t h w h i c h t o e x p r e s s them, j u s t a s , i n h i s e s s a y "The P h i l o s o p h y of 20 S h e l l e y ' s P o e t r y , " he c l a i m s t h e same f o r S h e l l e y . S p e a k i n g o f Queen Mab, he w r o t e t h a t i t "was w r i t t e n b e f o r e he [ s h e l l e y ) had h i s d e e p e s t t h o u g h t , or r a t h e r p e r h a p s b e f o r e he had f o u n d words t o u t t e r i t , f o r I do n o t t h i n k men change much i n t h e i r d e e p e s t t h o u g h t " (E & I 6 9 ) . Though Y e a t s was e l a t e d when he f o u n d a s c h o o l or t r a d i t i o n w h i c h c o n f i r m e d one or a n o t h e r of h i s b e l i e f s , no s i n g l e one e v e r changed h i s work r a d i c a l l y . More o f t e n t h a n n o t i t s t e n e t s a r e t o be f o u n d i n h i s w r i t i n g l o n g b e f o r e he was e x p o s e d t o t h e t r a d i t i o n w h i c h s u p p o s e d l y r e v o l u t i o n i z e d h i s work. I n d e e d , c o n s i d e r -i n g t h a t Y e a t s d e v o t e d so much time t o s t u d y i n g t h e t e n e t s of s u c h d i v e r s e t r a d i t i o n s , t h e c o n t i n u i t y of t h o u g h t i n h i s work i s q u i t e r e m a r k a b l e . Long b e f o r e Y e a t s e n c o u n t e r e d s t r u c t u r e d o c c u l t s c h o o l s he had, as V. Moore a r g u e s and t h e A u t o b i o g r a p h i e s and l e t t e r s 24 a t t e s t , d e v i s e d h i s own m y s t i c i s m . Long b e f o r e he e n c o u n -t e r e d t h e Noh drama, he had d e v i s e d a r e l i g i o u s drama w i t h s t a r k s e t t i n g s and s u p e r n a t u r a l c h a r a c t e r s , u s i n g masks and 25 s u b s t i t u t i n g metaphor and symbol f o r argument. In t h e ^ V . Moore, The U n i c o r n , pp. 15-25. 25 Here a g a i n c r i t i c s a r e t o o e a g e r t o t r a c e Y e a t s ' s work to i t s ' s o u r c e ' ; books a r e s t i l l a p p e a r i n g w h i c h j u d g e Y e a t s ' s drama by how c l o s e l y i t e m u l a t e s t h e Noh. T h i s may be c h a n g -i n g , however. B. R. F r i e d m a n , i n h i s r e c e n t book A d v e n t u r e r s  jq t h e Deeps of t h e Mind ( P r i n c e t o n , N.J.: P r i n c e t o n 21 l e t t e r s t o AE o f 1903 can be f o u n d th e n u c l e u s of t h e t h e o r y of h i s t o r i c a l c y c l e s w h i c h Y e a t s l a t e r o u t l i n e d i n " P e r Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e , " w h i l e i n " P e r A r n i c a " can be f o u n d th e n u c l e u s of t h e argument t h a t Y e a t s ' s c o m m u n i c a t o r s would e l a b o r a t e i n A V i s i o n . And w h i l e "The Seven P r o p o -s i t i o n s " o f 1937 i n d i c a t e , as R i c h a r d E l l m a n n has s u g g e s t e d i n a r e c e n t a r t i c l e , t h a t " d u r i n g h i s l a s t decade he [ Y e a t s J 2 6 pushed h i s s p e c u l a t i o n s about f i n a l m a t t e r s even f u r t h e r " 7 " t h e p r o p o s i t i o n s a r e on most c o u n t s an e l a b o r a t i o n , or an a u t h o r i t a t i v e r e s t a t e m e n t , of h i s l o n g - h e l d b e l i e f s on the n a t u r e of b e i n g . In h i s " D e d i c a t i o n " t o t h e 1925 e d i t i o n of A V i s i o n , Y e a t s w r o t e t h a t t h i s was t h e s y s t e m of b e l i e f s t h a t he had l o n g been l o o k i n g f o r . But t h o u g h he c l a i m e d t h a t i t had o n l y now come t o him, " t h o u g h i t may be t o o l a t e , " (AV (A) x i ) , t h e r e i s more t h a n enough e v i d e n c e i n t h e body o f h i s work t o s u p p o r t th e argument t h a t t h i s s y s t e m , i n i t s e s s e n c e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1977), p. 18, f o l l o w s Ann S a d d l e m y e r and E. E n g e l b e r g i n a r g u i n g t h a t " t h e t r a n s l a t i o n s £of Noh p l a y s ] of Pound and F e n o l l o s a , f a r f r o m t u r n i n g Y e a t s t o a new k i n d of t h e a t r e , c o n f i r m e d him i n d i r e c t i o n s he had a l r e a d y t a k e n . " R i c h a r d E l l m a n n , "At t h e Y e a t s e s , " New Y o r k Review o f  Books, May 17, 1979, p. 23. 22 i f n o t i n i t s p a r t i c u l a r s , i s p r e s e n t i n a c o h e s i v e and r e c o g n i z a b l e form i n t h e e a r l i e s t works. To b e g i n w i t h , Y e a t s ' s work p r e s e n t s a g r e a t e r c o n t i n u i t y o f s u b j e c t m a t t e r t h a n has g e n e r a l l y been a c k n o w l e d g e d . T h i s i s t h e t h e s i s o f D a v i d D a i c h e s ' e s s a y "The E a r l y Poems," i n w h i c h he a r g u e s t h a t "much o f what i s o f t e n r e g a r d e d as u n i q u e l y b e l o n g i n g t o the l a t e r Y e a t s can be f o u n d s t r u g g l i n g t o f i n d e x p r e s s -2 7 i o n i n t h e e a r l i e r and o c c a s i o n a l l y s u c c e e d i n g . " To g i v e one example, D a i c h e s p o i n t s o u t , i n a d i s c u s s i o n of "The Man Who Dreamed of F a e r y l a n d , " t h a t t h e r e i s an a n t i c i p a t i o n h e r e b o t h of Y e a t s ' s l a t e r c o n c e p t i o n o f B y z a n t i u m and of h i s l a t e r use of t h e i d e a of t h e P l o t i n i a n dance of l i f e - -t h o u g h i t was t o be many y e a r s b e f o r e he r e a d t h e books t o w h i c h modern s c h o l a r s have a t t r i b u t e d h i s i n t e r e s t i n t h e s e i d e a s . 2 8 T h i s c o n t i n u i t y o f t h o u g h t has n o t a l w a y s been r e c o g n i z e d by c r i t i c s , most of whom s t i l l see Y e a t s ' s r a d i c a l change i n s t y l e a f t e r t h e t u r n of t h e c e n t u r y as a d r a m a t i c change i n s u b j e c t m a t t e r as w e l l , f r o m o t h e r - w o r l d l y t o more mundane, c o n c r e t e s u b j e c t s . The a p p e a r a n c e of e m p h a t i c a l l y o c c u l t m a t e r i a l i n h i s work s e v e r a l y e a r s l a t e r i s t h u s s e e n as a r e t u r n t o , r a t h e r t h a n a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f , t h i s y o u t h f u l D. D a i c h e s , "The E a r l y Poems," In E x c i t e d R e v e r i e , p. D a i c h e s , p. 5 9. 23 p r e o c c u p a t i o n . A more r e a s o n a b l e a s s u m p t i o n , and one t h a t D a n i e l L e n o s k i a r g u e s c o n v i n c i n g l y , i s t h a t , When the change i n Y e a t s ' s t y l e o c c u r e d i n t h e y e a r s f o l l o w i n g t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y , he had n o t a d o p t e d a new m e t a p h y s i c a l p o s i t i o n , as some c r i t i c s s u g g e s t , n o r r e j e c t e d h i s e a r l i e r commit-ment t o t h e w o r l d of t h e s o u l . . . . 2 9 T h i s change, he w r i t e s , was n o t a c o m p l e t e r e p u d i a t i o n of t h e a e s t h e t i c t h e o r i e s o u t l i n e d by t h e p o e t i n t h e p e r i o d i c a l a r t i c l e s t h r o u g h o u t t h e ' n i n e t i e s , as many c r i t i c s have assumed, but m e r e l y a commitment t o a new p o e t i c p r a c t i c e w h i c h would a d e q u a t e l y m a n i f e s t many o f h i s e a r l i e r a e s t h e t i c / r e l i g i o u s a i m s . ^ The c o n t i n u i t y o f s u b j e c t m a t t e r i s c e r t a i n l y n o t i c e a b l e i n t h e drama, as I hope t o p r o v e i n t h i s s t u d y . Y e a t s ' s e a r -l i e s t p l a y s r e v e a l a s y s t e m o f b e l i e f s v e r y s i m i l a r t o t h a t l a t e r s e t down i n A V i s i o n . Even t h e e a r l i e s t m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s o f The Shadowy W a t e r s , w r i t t e n i n t h e 1880's, t r a n s -m i t , o f t e n w i t h s t a r t l i n g c l a r i t y , a m e t a p h y s i c s w h i c h i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h , and even a t t i m e s sheds l i g h t on, t h a t s e t down i n t h e l a t e r t r e a t i s e s . T h i s i s s t r e s s e d by t h e e d i t o r s of t h e s e m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s , who n o t e t h a t t h e y " r e v e a l a n o t h e r p a r t o f t h e s t i l l l a r g e l y h i d d e n f o u n d a t i o n i n 2 9 D a n i e l L e n o s k i , "The D e s c e n t from t h e Mountain.: A e s -t h e t i c T h e o r y and Y e a t s ' s Change i n P o e t i c S t y l e , " C J I S , 2, i (May 1976), p. 27. ^ L e n o s k i , p. 21. 24 m y t h o l o g y and o c c u l t i s m on w h i c h r e s t . / t h e works of the Y e a t s we know"; h e r e one f i n d s , t h e y c o n t i n u e , " t h e f i r s t a p p e a r a n c e of i d e a s and images w h i c h a l s o p r e o c c u p y t h e l a t e r Y e a t s . " 3 1 I I I . The M e t a p h y s i c i a n v e r s u s t h e D r a m a t i s t G r a n t e d , t h e n , t h a t Y e a t s d e v e l o p e d a m e t a p h y s i c s w h i c h i n f i l t r a t e s a l l t h e work, e a r l y as w e l l as l a t e , one t o w h i c h he draws a t t e n t i o n t i m e and time a g a i n , we a r e now f a c e d w i t h the p r o b l e m of how to s t u d y the s y s t e m a t i c t h o u g h t of a man who l o n g r a i l e d a g a i n s t a b s t r a c t thought, i n g e n e r a l and " c o m p l e t e i d e a s " (Memoirs 165) i n p a r t i c u l a r , and so u g h t to o b s c u r e h i s s y s t e m a l m o s t as o f t e n as he s o u g h t to de-m y s t i f y i t . The p r o b l e m a r i s e s b e c a u s e Y e a t s seems t o have been t o r n by two c o n f l i c t i n g i m p u l s e s . The f i r s t , a p r o d u c t of h i s s k e p t i c a l , i n q u i r i n g mind, was t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e meaning of e x i s t e n c e and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p of s p i r i t t o m a t t e r i n a r a t i o n a l way, t o d e v i s e a s y s t e m of t h o u g h t t h a t would be "an a n c i e n t d i s c i p l i n e , a p h i l o s o p h y t h a t s a t i s f i e d t h e i n t e l l e c t " (E & I 4 2 8 ) . The s e c o n d i m p u l s e , f e d by h i s r e -v u l s i o n a t "an I r i s h P r o t e s t a n t p o i n t of v i e w t h a t s u g g e s t e d D a v i d R. C l a r k , George P. Mayhew and M i c h a e l S i d n e l l , e d s . , D r u i d C r a f t : The W r i t i n g o f "The Shadowy W a t e r s " , M a n u s c r i p t s of W. B. Y e a t s . I ( D u b l i n : The Dolmen P r e s s , 19 7 1 ) , p. xv. 25 by i t s b l a n k a b s t r a c t i o n c h l o r i d e of l i m e " (E & I 428) , was t o abandon a l l dogma, a l l a b s t r a c t i o n , and t o s t r i v e f o r i r r a t i o n a l , unnamable, i n t u i t i v e ' t r u t h . ' H i s p r o s e w r i t -i n g s t h r o u g h o u t h i s c a r e e r e m p h a s i z e t h i s need t o abandon t h e s p e c u l a t i o n s o f s c i e n c e and m e t a p h y s i c s f o r p a s s i o n , f o r the t r u t h of t h e h e a r t r a t h e r t h a n t h e i n t e l l e c t (E & I 265). I n t h i s l a t t e r i m p u l s e Y e a t s was c l e a r l y a t t h e f o r e -f r o n t of h i s t i m e . I n t r o d u c i n g what became one of Y e a t s ' s f a v o u r i t e b o o k s , The S e c r e t of t h e G o l d e n F l o w e r , C.G. Jung w r o t e i n 1931 t h a t The r e a c t i o n w h i c h i s now b e g i n n i n g i n t h e West a g a i n s t the i n t e l l e c t i n f a v o u r o f f e e l i n g , or i n f a v o u r of i n t u i t i o n , seems t o me a mark of c u l t u r a l a d v a n c e , a w i d e n i n g of c o n s c i o u s n e s s beyond t h e t o o n a r r o w l i m i t s of a t y r a n n i c a l i n t e l l e c t . 3 2 Y e a t s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e p o e t , and n o t t h e p h i l o s o p h e r , must now assume t h e m a n t l e f o r f e i t e d by an o v e r l y r a t i o n a l c h u r c h . A c c o r d i n g t o Y e a t s , p o e t r y t r a n s f o r m s p h i l o s o p h y , c l o t h i n g i t w i t h f l e s h and b l o o d and r e m o v i n g i t f r o m t h e d e a d e n i n g l e v e l of a b s t r a c t i o n : A r t b i d s us t o u c h and t a s t e and h e a r and see t h e w o r l d , and s h r i n k s from what B l a k e c a l l s mathema-t i c a l f o r m , from e v e r y a b s t r a c t t h i n g , f r o m a l l t h a t i s o f t h e b r a i n o n l y , f r o m a l l t h a t i s n o t a f o u n t a i n j e t t i n g f r o m t h e e n t i r e h o p e s , memories C. G. J u n g , " E u r o p e a n Commentary," The S e c r e t of t h e  G o l d e n F l o w e r , t r a n s , by C. F. Baynes from R. W i l h e l m ' s G e r -man t r a n s , f r o m t h e o r i g i n a l C h i n e s e (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e and Co., 1931), p. 85. 26 and s e n s a t i o n s of t h e body. (E & I 292-3) At t h e same t i m e , t h r o u g h s y m b o l s , t h r o u g h i n t u i t i v e f l i g h t s of t h e i m a g i n a t i o n r a t h e r t h a n t h r o u g h l o g i c a l l y o r d e r e d t h o u g h t , i t can r e a c h f u r t h e r , g r a s p d e e p e r meanings t h a n t h o s e a v a i l a b l e to t h e i n t e l l e c t . Thus th e use of a r t t o t r a n s f o r m p h i l o s o p h y i s t w o f o l d : w h i l e i t makes t h e t h o u g h t more c o n c r e t e and t h e r e f o r e more a c c e s s i b l e , i t a l s o f r e e s i t from t h e bonds o f r e a s o n t h a t keep th e s p i r i t from g r a s p -i n g g r e a t e r t r u t h s . The more a p o e t r i d s h i s v e r s e s of h e t e r o g e n e o u s knowledge and i r r e l e v a n t a n a l y s i s , and p u r i f i e s h i s mind w i t h e l a b o r a t e a r t , t h e more does th e l i t t l e r i t u a l of h i s v e r s e r e s e m b l e t h e g r e a t r i t u a l o f N a t u r e , and becomes m y s t e r i o u s and i n s -c r u t a b l e . He becomes, as a l l t h e g r e a t m y s t i c s b e l i e v e d , a v e s s e l of the c r e a t i v e power of God; and w h e t h e r he be a g r e a t p o e t or a s m a l l p o e t , we can p r a i s e t h e poems, w h i c h but seem t o be h i s , w i t h t h e e x t r e m i t y of p r a i s e t h a t we :give t h i s g r e a t r i t u a l w h i c h i s but c o p i e d from t h e same e t e r n a l m odel. (E & I 202) These were n o b l e s e n t i m e n t s , but v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o f o l l o w i n p r a c t i c e , and i n c r e a s i n g l y so as Y e a t s c o n t i n u e d t o amass ' h e t e r o g e n e o u s knowledge.' The r e l i g i o u s s y s t e m had t o be m u l l e d o v e r , t h e r e v e l a t i o n s e x u l t e d o v e r , and i t t o o k up an i n c r e a s i n g l y l a r g e p o r t i o n of Y e a t s ' s t h o u g h t s . Though he s t r u g g l e d t o keep t h e a b s t r a c t i o n s o f t h e d e v e l o p i n g s y s t e m out o f t h e p o e t i c a l w o r k s , Y e a t s was n o t a l w a y s s u c c e s s f u l ; t h e a b s t r a c t i o n s c o n t i n u e d t o i n f i l t r a t e t h e p o e t i c works and 27 e v e n , as d u r i n g t h e w r i t i n g of The P l a y e r Queen, t o d i s -p l a c e t h e p o e t r y a l t o g e t h e r . Y e a t s ' s s o l u t i o n was two-f o l d : t o w r i t e down t h e s y s t e m s e p a r a t e l y , as an a b s t r a c t body o f t h o u g h t , and a t t h e same time t o r e w r i t e t h e p o e t i c a l works t o remove as much of t h e o v e r t p h i l o s o p h y as p o s s i b l e . The two v e r s i o n s of A V i s i o n , t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l e s s a y s s u c h as " P e r Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e , " "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s " and, when t h e y a r e f i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d , Y e a t s ' s m a s s i v e and 33 c a r e f u l l y - k e p t r e c o r d s of s p i r i t u a l and o c c u l t e x p e r i m e n t s , a l l t e s t i f y t o h i s need t o s e t down, i n a b s t r a c t , r a t i o n a l t e r m s , t h e s y s t e m of b e l i e f he g r a p p l e d w i t h a l l h i s l i f e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , Y e a t s c o n t i n u e d even i n A V i s i o n to a r g u e t h a t l i f e , b e i n g i r r a t i o n a l , i s b e s t d e s c r i b e d by i r r a t i o n a l r a t h e r t h a n r a t i o n a l means: L i f e i s no s e r i e s o f e m a n a t i o n s from d i v i n e r e a s o n s u c h as t h e C a b a l i s t s i m a g i n e , but an i r r a t i o n a l b i t t e r n e s s , no o r d e r l y d e s c e n t f r o m l e v e l t o l e v e l , no w a t e r f a l l b u t a w h i r l p o o l , a g y r e . (AV (B) 40) Y e a t s f e l t u n d e r s t a n d a b l y , s h e e p i s h about h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t p u t f o r a t i m e ; he p l a y e d down the i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e s y s t e m , b r u s h i n g i t o f f as " s t y l i s t i c a r r a n g e m e n t s o f ex-p e r i e n c e c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e cubes i n t h e d r a w i n g df Wyndham L e w i s and t o t h e o v o i d s i n the s c u l p t u r e of B r a n c u s i " C f . G. M. H a r p e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e s e r e c o r d s i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t . 28 (AV (V) 2 5 ) . He was a l i t t l e more h o n e s t when a d d r e s s i n g h i s f e l l o w s t u d e n t s of t h e o c c u l t i n t h e " D e d i c a t i o n " t o the f i r s t e d i t i o n , w r i t i n g t h a t " i f t h e y w i l l m a s t e r what i s most a b s t r a c t t h e r e and make i t t h e f o u n d a t i o n of t h e i r v i s i o n s , t h e c u r t a i n may r i n g up a new e r a " (AV (A) x i i ) . In t h i s f i r s t e d i t i o n t h e p o e t gamely a t t e m p t e d t o f o l l o w h i s own d i c t u m t h a t even p h i l o s o p h e r s s h o u l d p r e s e n t t h e i r work t h r o u g h " m y t h o l o g y and c y c l e [s] o f l e g e n d " (SP 34 2 0 6 ) . He c l o t h e d t h e b a r e a b s t r a c t i o n s of t h e work i n a l a y e r o f myth, t h r o u g h t h e s t o r y o f M i c h a e l R o b a r t e s , and i n s i s t e d t h a t he h i m s e l f was n o t t h e a u t h o r n o r even th e one who d i s c o v e r e d t h e t e x t ; he was m e r e l y i t s s e c o n d e d i t o r , c a l l e d i n o n l y when the f i r s t , Owen A h e r n e , s t a r t e d to b o t c h t h e j o b . Y e a t s soon r e a l i z e d t h a t t h i s l a y e r o f myth o b s c u r e d the p u r p o s e of t h e work, and he d r o p p e d i t i n the s e c o n d e d i t i o n . He was s t i l l n ot p r e p a r e d t o a c knowledge a u t h o r s h i p , however, and p r e s e n t e d t h e book as t h e c o m m u n i c a t i o n of s p i -r i t s t h r o u g h :the mouth and pen of h i s w i f e . I t was o n l y l a t e r t h a t he a d m i t t e d to t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e work m i g h t have been c r e a t e d t h r o u g h h i s s u b c o n s c i o u s i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n J 4 T h e f u l l p a s s a g e i s of some i n t e r e s t : "Even th e s p e -c u l a t i v e w r i t e r s who would t o u c h t h e h e a r t s h o u l d c h o o s e t h e i r m y t h o l o g y and c y c l e s of l e g e n d , f o r l i f e can o n l y be e x p r e s s e d by l i f e . . . b u t n o t by a d o c t r i n e or a s p e c u l a t i o n o r a d e f i n i -t i o n i n t h e r e a s o n . These a r e o n l y u s e f u l when t h e y p o i n t t h e way t o a sound o r an image o r an odour o r t o t h e expe-r i e n c e o f the s o u l when a l l t h e s e become one and n o t h i n g . " 29 w i t h t h a t of h i s w i f e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , w h a t e v e r th e o r i g i n of h i s b e l i e f s , Y e a t s began t o speak more a u t h o r i t a t i v e l y of "my c o n v i c t i o n s " and "my ' p r i v a t e p h i l o s o p h y ' " i n s t e a d of r e f e r r i n g t o them as " m a g i c a l b e l i e f s " o r t h e b e l i e f s o f h i s " m y s t i c a l o r d e r . " He a c k n o w l e d g e d a u t h o r s h i p of what i s p e r h a p s th e most s u c c i n c t s t a t e m e n t of h i s p h i l o s o p h y , "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " w h i c h he d i c t a t e d to h i s w i f e i n 1937. T o g e t h e r w i t h the e a r l i e r work i t forms an i n d e p e n d e n t body of t h o u g h t w h i c h , t h o u g h i t has c l o s e r t i e s to t h e o c c u l t t r a d i t i o n of s a c r e d geometry t h a n i t does t o c o n t e m p o r a r y p h i l o s o p h y , d e s e r v e s t o be j u d g e d on i t s own m e r i t s . Y e a t s l o n g e d f o r t h i s k i n d o f v a l i d a t i o n , w r i t i n g , W i l l some m a t h e m a t i c i a n some day q u e s t i o n and un-d e r s t a n d , and c o n f i r m a l l , or have I a l s o [comparing h i m s e l f to P l a t o ] d e a l t i n myth? (AV (B) 213) Though t h i s p h i l o s o p h y i s c e n t r a l to t h e p o e t i c works, and i n p a r t i c u l a r t o t h e drama, Y e a t s l a b o u r e d t o remove a l l o b v i o u s t r a c e s o f i t , c o n s t a n t l y r e v i s i n g h i s p l a y s u n t i l , i n h i s words, a t l a s t t h e o n l y p h i l o s o p h y a u d i b l e , i f t h e r e i s even t h a t , i s the mere e x p r e s s i o n of one c h a r a c t e r t o a n o t h e r . When i t i s c o m p l e t e l y l i f e i t seems to the h a s t y r e a d e r a mere s t o r y . 3 5 T h i s i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e a d v i c e t h a t he gave M a r g o t Ruddock Quoted from " E s t r a n g e m e n t " by L o u i s M a c n e i c e i n The  P o e t r y o f W. B. Y e a t s (London: F a b e r and F a b e r , 1967), p. 164. 30 when she was a t t e m p t i n g t o w r i t e a p l a y : I do n o t t h i n k a p l a y where e v e r y o n e s p e a k s my t h o u g h t can be t h e g r e a t e s t k i n d o f p l a y no m a t t e r how w r i t t e n . Goethe s a i d , 'a p h i l o s o p h e r needs a l l h i s p h i l o s o p h y b u t must keep i t out of h i s work' (which he c o u l d n o t d o ) . Take some p l o t w h i c h s e e k s t o e x p r e s s a l l i n t h e a c t i o n and where n o t h i n g i s s a i d about t h e a c t i o n ; do n o t speak t h r o u g h t h e c h a r a c t e r s , l e t them speak t h r o u g h y o u , and you w i l l f i n d t h a t a t some moment of c r i s i s t h e y w i l l s p e a k a t once p a s s i o n a t e l y and p r o f o u n d l y . (MRL 80) Y e a t s s t r u g g l e d t o d e v i s e a s y m b o l i c framework f o r h i s drama t h a t would i n c o r p o r a t e t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l b a s i s b u t would s u p e r c e d e i t . He b e l i e v e d d e e p l y i n t h e power of s y m b o l s , a b e l i e f c l o s e l y r e s e m b l i n g Jung's on the s u b j e c t . T h i s b e l i e f was c o n f i r m e d t h r o u g h h i s o c c u l t s t u d i e s u n d e r MacGregor M a t h e r s , w h i c h c o n v i n c e d him t h a t "images w e l l up b e f o r e t h e mind's eye from a d e e p e r s o u r c e t h a n c o n s c i o u s or u n c o n s c i o u s memory" (A 183); t h e i r meaning r e m a i n s c o n -c e a l e d f r o m t h e c o n s c i o u s mind o f t h e n o n - i n i t i a t e d , b u t n o t from t h e i r u n c o n s c i o u s mind. Y e a t s p e r f e c t e d t h i s use o f sy m b o l s , many of them e c l e c t i c symbols s t u d i e d w i t h t h e O r d e r of the G o l d e n Dawn, u n t i l he c o u l d w r i t e a f t e r t h e r e h e a r s a l s of At The Hawk's W e l l , " I have i n v e n t e d a form of drama, d i s t i n g u i s h e d , i n d i r e c t , and s y m b o l i c " (E & I 2 2 1 ) . Once he p e r f e c t e d t h e s y m b o l s , Y e a t s d i s c a r d e d much o f the l o g i c u n t i l even he, as he w r o t e of t h e symbols i n The  Cat and t h e Moon, c o m p l e t e l y f o r g o t ( o r so he c l a i m e d ) what t h e y o r i g i n a l l y s t o o d f o r : 31 I have a l t o g e t h e r f o r g o t t e n w hether o t h e r p a r t s of t h e f a b l e [on w h i c h t h e p l a y i s b a s e d ] h a v e , as i s v e r y l i k e l y , a p r e c i s e meaning, and t h a t i s n a t u r a l , f o r I g e n e r a l l y f o r g e t i n c o n t e m p l a t i n g my copy of an o l d P e r s i a n c a r p e t t h a t i t s w i n d i n g and w a n d e r i n g v i n e had once t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l m eaning.... (VP1 805) Y e a t s gave t h i s same answer when he was a s k e d t h e meaning of th e f o o l and t h e b l i n d man i n On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d , b u t though i t was a c o n v e n i e n t e x c u s e he was o n l y h a l f s e r i o u s . The c o p i o u s a l l u s i o n s t o t h e m e t a p h y s i c s b e h i n d t h e drama i n h i s p r o s e w r i t i n g s , and i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e l e n g t h y p r e f a c e s and n o t e s t o t h e p l a y s , n o t o n l y i n d i c a t e t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h Y e a t s ' s b e l i e f s — t h o s e b e l i e f s so l a b o r i o u s l y s e t down i n th e v a r i o u s t r e a t i s e s — i n f o r m t h e work, b u t a l s o p r o v e t h a t he wanted them t o be s t u d i e d and u n d e r s t o o d . Y e a t s c e r t a i n l y hoped t h a t t h e u n d e r l y i n g b e l i e f s would be g r a s p e d by t h e i n f o r m e d , d i s c e r n i n g r e a d e r of t h e p l a y s , i f n o t by t h e l a r -g e r a u d i e n c e . As he w r o t e i n h i s poem "To I r e l a n d i n t h e Coming T i m e s " : to him who p o n d e r s w e l l , My rhymes more t h a n t h e i r r h y ming t e l l Of t h e dim v i s i o n s o l d and deep, T h a t god gives u n t o man i n s l e e p . F o r r o u n d about my t a b l e go The m a g i c a l powers t o and f r o . (VE 138) R e f e r r i n g t o t h e members of h i s a u d i e n c e i n the n o t e s t o The  Deat h of C u c h u l a i n , Y e a t s w r o t e t h a t "They can f i n d my words i n t h e book i f t h e y a r e c u r i o u s , b u t we w i l l n o t t h r u s t our s e c r e t upon them" (VP1 1010). He l e f t many s u c h words, enough t o make p o s s i b l e a f a r l e n g t h i e r s t u d y of h i s p h i l o s o p h y 32 as i t i s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e drama t h a n h i s own s t u d y of t h e p h i l o s o p h y w h i c h i n f o r m s S h e l l e y ' s p o e t r y , an e s s a y w h i c h c l e a r l y s e t s a p r e c e d e n t f o r t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y . IV. The M e t a p h y s i c s i n the Drama Th a t the p l a y s and p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s s h o u l d have the same b a s i c c o n c e r n s i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g s i n c e , as we have s e e n , Y e a t s s p e n t h i s l i f e l o o k i n g f o r a s y s t e m of b e l i e f s t h a t would make a l l h i s w r i t i n g " p a r t o f one h i s t o r y , and t h a t t h e s o u l ' s . " Drama, a c c o r d i n g t o the d e f i n i t i o n he p r e s e n t e d i n The U n i t e d I r i s h m a n , was f o r him " a p i c t u r e of t h e s o u l of man, and n o t of h i s e x t e r n a l l i f e , " w h i l e th e o r i g i n a l t i t l e he gave f o r t h e m a n u s c r i p t s w h i c h he ' e d i t e d ' and p r e s e n t e d t o the w o r l d as A V i s i o n i s "The Way of t h e S o u l Between the Sun and the Moon" (A_V (A) x i x ) . N e v e r t h e -l e s s , i t m ight be a r g u e d t h a t , w h i l e A V i s i o n i n d u b i t a b l y a t t e m p t s a c o m p r e h e n s i v e s t u d y o f what Y e a t s t o o k t o be t h e n a t u r e and h i s t o r y o f t h e s o u l , w i t h i n and o u t s i d e c r e a t i o n , and i n b o t h i n c a r n a t e and d i s c a r n a t e s t a t e s , t h e p l a y s c e n t r e on t h e p l i g h t o f human p r o t a g o n i s t s and t h u s seem t o l i m i t t h e i r ' p i c t u r e ' of t h e s o u l t o i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n i n t h e m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n . In f a c t , however, the p l a y s s u p p l y a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount 33 of i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e t o t a l i t y of t h e s o u l ' s e x p e r i e n c e , and f o r a v e r y s i m p l e r e a s o n . Y e a t s saw no need to d i v o r c e t h e p l i g h t of m o r t a l s from t h a t o f s p i r i t s i n any o t h e r s t a t e . He u n d e r s t o o d c r e a t i o n to be a whole, p o p u l a t e d by s o u l s , o r s p i r i t s , on i n n u m e r a b l e l e v e l s o f b e i n g between man and t h e gods, and s e p a r a t e d one from the o t h e r by the t h i n n e s t of v e i l s . A l l s p i r i t s , he b e l i e v e d , a r e e q u a l , f o r a l l a r e a p a r t of t h e o r i g i n a l u n i t y t h a t was s h a t t e r e d a t c r e a t i o n i n t o the i n n u m e r a b l e components o f t h e u n i v e r s e . Each s p i r i t must pass at some s t a g e o f d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h a l l s t a t e s of b e i n g , must be b o t h god and man. The p l a y s p r e s e n t a b e w i l d e r i n g a r r a y of gods, d i s c a r -n a t e s p i r i t s , h a l f - g o d s and m o r t a l s , a l l of whom i n t e r a c t , and i n v e r y s i g n i f i c a n t ways. Most m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s know t h e m s e l v e s t o be s p i r i t s t e m p o r a r i l y r e s i d i n g i n human form; many l o n g t o shed t h e m o r t a l body even as some d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s who were once men lament t h e l o s s of t h e i r s . Gods i n some p l a y s bend m o r t a l s and l e s s e r s p i r i t s t o t h e i r w i l l , w h i l e i n o t h e r p l a y s men, by d e f y i n g t h e w i l l of t h e gods or ev e n , i n some c a s e s , by s u b j u g a t i n g t h e s e gods, become gods t h e m s e l v e s . Y e a t s t h e r e f o r e c l e a r l y r e p u d i a t e s i n the p l a y s t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n w h i c h e q u a t e s man w i t h h i s m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n and w h i c h n e g a t e s b o t h h i s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h a l l o t h e r s t a t e s o f b e i n g and h i s u l t i m a t e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e 34 h i g h e s t God, or t h e One. The b e l i e f i n a h i e r a r c h y o f b e i n g p r o c e e d i n g from man to God, and c o n n e c t i n g a l l b e i n g s w i t h i n c r e a t i o n , p e r m e a t e s t h e drama and i s a c e n t r a l t e n e t o f Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s . Y e a t s a r g u e d , q u i t e s e r i o u s l y , t h a t a major c o n t r o v e r s y o f t h e t i m e , t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the r e a l i s t and i d e a l i s t p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n s , would be s o l v e d were o t h e r modern p h i l o s o p h e r s t o e s p o u s e t h i s d o c -t r i n e . As he wr o t e t o J o s e p h Hone, I t h i n k t h a t much o f t h e c o n f u s i o n of modern p h i -l o s o p h y , p e r h a p s t h e whole r e a l i s m v e r s u s i d e a l -i s m q u a r r e l , comes from our r e n o u n c i n g t h e a n c i e n t h i e r a r c h y o f b e i n g s from man up t o the One. What I do n o t see but may see o r have s e e n , i s p e r c e i v e d by a n o t h e r b e i n g . In o t h e r words i s p a r t of t h e f a b r i c of a n o t h e r b e i n g . I remember what he f o r -g e t s , he remembers what I f o r g e t . We a r e i n the m i d s t of l i f e and t h e r e i s n o t h i n g b u t l i f e . (L 728) As we n o t e d e a r l i e r , Y e a t s c l a i m e d i n h i s c o r r e s p o n d e n c e w i t h T. S. Moore t o be b o t h a r e a l i s t and an i d e a l i s t , g i v i n g as h i s r e a s o n t h a t he saw "no f i n a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n " (Y & TSM 99) between t h e two. As Y e a t s u n d e r s t o o d i t , r e a l i s t s b e-l i e v e t h a t t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d i s o b j e c t i v e , and t h e r e f o r e permanent, w h i l e i d e a l i s t s b e l i e v e t h a t i t i s s u b j e c t i v e , and t h e r e f o r e o n l y e x i s t s or seems t o e x i s t w h i l e i t i s b e i n g p e r c e i v e d . The d i f f i c u l t y f a c i n g t h e i d e a l i s t s i s how to e x p l a i n t h e f a c t t h a t much of t h i s e x t e r n a l w o r l d can be p r o v e n t o r e m a i n the same no m a t t e r when or by whom i t i s p e r c e i v e d . B e r k e l e y , whom Y e a t s c a l l e d " i d e a l i s t and r e a l i s t 35 a l i k e , " s o l v e d t h i s p r o b l e m by c l a i m i n g t h a t n o t o n l y t h e human mind, but God h i m s e l f c o n t i n u a l l y p e r c e i v e s , and t h e r e -f o r e c r e a t e s , a s t a b l e u n i v e r s e . T. S. Moore was somewhat d i s d a i n f u l of t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n , and d a r e d Y e a t s t o f i n d a b e t t e r one: B e r k e l e y had t o r e s o r t t o God t o e x p l a i n o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y ; God went on t h i n k i n g and so h i s t h o u g h t s r e m a i n e d j u s t as t h e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y d o e s . . . . You must f i n d a d e f i n i t i o n t h a t , u n l i k e B e r k e l e y ' s , i s n ot m e r e l y v e r b a l l y d i f f e r e n t from t h e view t h a t c a l l s one s u b j e c t i v e and the o t h e r o b j e c t i v e . (Y & TSM 78-80) R e p l i e d Y e a t s , "The e s s e n t i a l s e n t e n c e i s of c o u r s e " t h i n g s o n l y e x i s t i n b e i n g p e r c e i v e d , " and I can o n l y c a l l p e r c e p -t i o n God's when I add B l a k e ' s 'God o n l y a c t s o r i s i n e x i s t -i n g b e i n g s o r men'." Y e a t s c o n t i n u e d t h i s argument i n h i s e s s a y " B i s h o p B e r k e l e y , " where he s t a t e s t h a t t h e B e r k e l e y of t h e Commonplace Book seems t o p o s i t a h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g c o n n e c t i n g god's a c t of c r e a t i o n w i t h t h a t of man: he t h o u g h t of God as a p u r e i n d i v i s i b l e a c t . . . w h i c h ... c r e a t e s p a s s i v e ' i d e a s ' - - t h r u s t s them as i t were o u t s i d e i t s e l f ; and i n t h i s a c t a l l b e i n g s - - f r o m the h i e r a r c h y o f Heaven t o man and woman and d o u b t l e s s t o a l l l i v e s — s h a r e i n t h e measure of t h e i r w o r t h . . . . (E & I 408) What Y e a t s i s a r g u i n g i s t h a t , s i n c e p e r c e p t i o n i s c r e a t i o n , t h e e x t e r n a l u n i v e r s e i s c o n s t a n t as l o n g as i t i s p e r c e i v e d by one or a n o t h e r of t h e b e i n g s who make up t h e h i e r a r c h y between god and man. The q u e s t i o n t h e n i s n o t 36 w h ether i t i s man or god who p e r c e i v e s and t h u s c r e a t e s t h e u n i v e r s e ; a l l a s p e c t s o f t h e e x t e r n a l u n i v e r s e a r e p e r c e i v e d by b e i n g s on d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of e x i s t e n c e at a l l t i m e s d u r i n g c r e a t i o n . The s t a t e m e n t t h a t 'God o n l y a c t s or i s i n e x i s t i n g b e i n g s o r men' adds a n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n t o t h e argument. A l l b e i n g s w i t h i n c r e a t i o n a r e s e p a r a t e b u t e q u a l , and t o g e t h e r t h e y f o r m r e a l i t y . God, o r t h e One, i s s i m p l y a name f o r t h e u n i t y of a l l t h i n g s b e f o r e c r e a t i o n , a com-p l e t e and u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d u n i t y or e m p t i n e s s out o f w h i c h , a t c r e a t i o n , s t r e a m t h e s p i r i t s who, b e i n g s e p a r a t e , p e r c e i v e e a c h o t h e r and t h u s c r e a t e ' r e a l i t y . ' The e m p t i n e s s or u n i t y may be c a l l e d God, but i t i s o u t s i d e c r e a t i o n , and t h e r e f o r e n e i t h e r ' i s ' nor ' a c t s ' — t h i s i s r e s e r v e d f o r t h e d i v e r s e s p i r i t s who make up, and t h e r e f o r e i n some s e n s e s e q u a l , t h e 3 6 one God o u t s i d e t i m e . These b e l i e f s a r e most s u c c i n t l y , i f r a t h e r c r y p t i c a l l y , e x p r e s s e d i n Y e a t s ' s "Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " i n w h i c h he J O Y e a t s was q u i t e happy t o c a l l t h e One 'God,1' and d i d so q u i t e r e g u l a r l y i n h i s w r i t i n g . We s h o u l d n o t , however, i n f e r from t h i s t h a t Y e a t s e s p o u s e d as h i s own t h e C h r i s t i a n c o n c e p t of God, as V i r g i n i a Moore does t o o e a g e r l y i n The  U n i c o r n . The c r i t i c a l c o n f u s i o n s u r r o u n d i n g Y e a t s ' s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s o r i g i n a t e s i n h i s w i l l i n g n e s s t o a c c e p t a l l m e t a p h o r s f o r r e a l i t y , f o r i n h i s view e a c h c u l t u r e has a l e g i t i m a t e , i f d i f f e r e n t , s e t of r e f e r e n c e s t o d e s c r i b e and u n d e r s t a n d the same t r u t h . He a c c e p t e d t h e r e l i g i o u s myths and t e r m i -n o l o g y of t h e C h r i s t i a n s as r e a d i l y as he d i d t h o s e of t h e a n c i e n t C e l t i c r e l i g i o n and of t h e v a r i o u s E a s t e r n r e l i g i o n s . 37 o u t l i n e d what he u n d e r s t o o d t o be t h e n a t u r e of r e a l i t y a f t e r c r e a t i o n . S i n c e t h e s e p r o p o s i t i o n s w i l l be r e f e r r e d t o s e v e -r a l t i m e s d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e of t h i s s t u d y , I s h a l l d i g r e s s f r o m my argument m o m e n t a r i l y i n o r d e r t o p r i n t them i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y : ( I ) R e a l i t y i s a t i m e l e s s and s p a c e l e s s community of S p i r i t s w h i c h p e r c e i v e e a c h o t h e r . E ach S p i r i t i s d e t e r m i n e d by and d e t e r m i n e s t h o s e i t p e r c e i v e s , and e a c h S p i r i t i s u n i q u e . ( I I ) When t h e s e S p i r i t s r e f l e c t t h e m s e l v e s i n time and s p a c e t h e y s t i l l d e t e r m i n e e a c h o t h e r , and ea c h S p i r i t s e e s t h e o t h e r s as t h o u g h t s , images, o b j e c t s of s e n s e . Time and s p a c e a r e u n r e a l . ( I I I ) T h i s r e f l e c t i o n i n t o t i m e and s p a c e i s o n l y c o m p l e t e a t c e r t a i n moments o f b i r t h , o r p a s s i v i t y , w h i c h r e c u r many t i m e s i n e a c h d e s t i n y . At t h e s e moments t h e d e s t i n y r e c e i v e s i t s c h a r a c t e r u n t i l t h e n e x t s u c h moment from t h o s e S p i r i t s who c o n s -t i t u t e t h e e x t e r n a l u n i v e r s e . The h o r o s c o p e i s a s e t o f g e o m e t r i c a l r e l a t i o n s between t h e S p i r i t ' s r e f l e c t i o n and t h e p r i n c i p a l masses i n t h e u n i v e r s e and d e f i n e s t h a t c h a r a c t e r . (IV) The e m o t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r o f a t i m e l e s s and s p a c e l e s s S p i r i t r e f l e c t s i t s e l f as i t s p o s i t i o n i n t i m e , i t s i n t e l l e c t u a l c h a r a c t e r as i t s p o s i t i o n i n s p a c e . The p o s i t i o n o f a S p i r i t i n s p a c e and time t h e r e f o r e d e f i n e s c h a r a c t e r . (V) Human l i f e i s e i t h e r t h e s t r u g g l e of a d e s t i n y a g a i n s t a l l o t h e r d e s t i n i e s , o r a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r d e f i n e d i n t h e h o r o s c o p e i n t o t i m e -l e s s and s p a c e l e s s e x i s t e n c e . The whole p a s s a g e from b i r t h to b i r t h s h o u l d be an e p i t o m e o f the whole p a s s a g e of t h e u n i v e r s e t h r o u g h t i m e and back i n t o i t s t i m e l e s s and s p a c e l e s s c o n d i t i o n . (VI) The a c t s and n a t u r e o f a S p i r i t d u r i n g any one l i f e a r e a s e c t i o n o r a b s t r a c t i o n o f r e a l i t y and a r e unhappy b e c a u s e i n c o m p l e t e . They a r e a g y r e or p a r t of a g y r e , whereas r e a l i t y i s a s p h e r e . 38 ( V I I ) Though t h e S p i r i t s a r e d e t e r m i n e d by eac h o t h e r t h e y c a n n o t c o m p l e t e l y l o s e t h e i r f r e e d o m . E v e r y p o s s i b l e s t a t e m e n t o r p e r c e p t -i o n c o n t a i n s b o t h t e r m s — t h e s e l f and t h a t w h i c h i t p e r c e i v e s or s t a t e s . 3 7 In t h e s e p r o p o s i t i o n s , Y e a t s c l e a r l y s t a t e s t h a t human l i f e i s o n l y a g y r e or a p a r t of a g y r e , and t h e r e f o r e i n c o m p l e t e . The e x t e r n a l u n i v e r s e c a n n o t t h e n be c r e a t e d s o l e l y by t h e human mind, b ut i s a j o i n t c r e a t i o n o f a l l s p i r i t s p e r c e i v i n g each o t h e r ( t h e sum t o t a l of r e a l i t y ) i n u n i s o n . T h i s p o i n t has g e n e r a l l y been m i s u n d e r s t o o d by c r i t i c s of Y e a t s ' s t h o u g h t . S n u k a l , f o r example, a c t u a l l y s t a t e s t h a t " I n t h e 'Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , ' Y e a t s a r g u e s t h a t 3 8 r e a l i t y i s a f u n c t i o n of t h e human mind." U s i n g t h i s as a s t a r t i n g p o i n t , S n u k a l goes on t o d i s t i n g u i s h between t h e p o s i t i o n of Y e a t s on the n a t u r e of t h e s p i r i t and t h a t of P l a t o and P l o t i n u s : A c c o r d i n g t o b o t h P l a t o and P l o t i n u s , . o n e c o u l d e s c a p e from t h e w h e e l , c o u l d a c h i e v e a u n i t y w i t h t h e one, and t h u s l o s e p e r s o n a l i t y and e s c a p e r e -b i r t h . In Y e a t s ' s c o s m o l o g y , however, t h e r e i s n o t h i n g beyond t h e human mind. The s u p r a - s e n s u a l w o r l d i s s i m p l y t h e mind, and t h i s mind c a n n o t be c o n f u s e d w i t h a n o t h e r g r e a t e r mind.39 80 3 7 F i r s t q u o t e d by V i r g i n i a Moore, The U n i c o r n , pp. 378-O Q S n u k a l , H i g h T a l k , p. 41 39 S n u k a l , p. 2 9 39 I n f a c t , as b o t h t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s and t h e p l a y s make a b u n d a n t l y c l e a r , t h e human s p i r i t i s i n d e e d b u t a fragment of t h a t g r e a t e r b e i n g f o r Y e a t s as f o r P l a t o and P l o t i n u s . S i n c e s e p a r a t i o n from t h e One s p e l l s u n h a p p i n e s s , the g o a l o f t h e s p i r i t ( t h o u g h i t o f t e n l o s e s s i g h t of t h i s g o a l when i t becomes immmersed i n any one l i f e ) i s to j o u r n e y t h r o u g h the c y c l e s o f b i r t h and r e - b i r t h , up t h e h i e r a r c h y o f b e i n g i n o r d e r t o r e t u r n t o U n i t y of B e i n g , c o m p l e t e 40 u n i t y w i t h t h e One. The p l a y s c h a r t t h e b i t t e r s w e e t , c o n f l i c t - r i d d e n j o u r n e y of m o r t a l s t h r o u g h human l i v e s ; t h i s j o u r n e y can be a p h y s i c a l one s u c h as F o r g a e l ' s s e a voyage i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , or a p s y c h i c a l one su c h as C u c h u l a i n u n d e r t a k e s i n The O n l y  J e a l o u s y of Emer. The C u c h u l a i n c y c l e as a whole can be u n d e r s t o o d as a j o u r n e y from y o u t h t o o l d age, from i n n o c e n c e and f o o l h a r d i n e s s t o e x p e r i e n c e and wisdom. Many of Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s , f r o m F o r g a e l and C u c h u l a i n t o P a u l R u t t l e d g e , M a r t i n Hearne, t h e p l a y e r Queen Decima, and t h e s t r o l l e r i n A F u l l Moon i n March, a r e w a n d e r e r s a t h e a r t , l o n g i n g f o r The main d i f f e r e n c e between Y e a t s and P l a t o and P l o t i n u s on t h i s p o i n t i s t h e i m p o r t a n c e t h a t Y e a t s p l a c e s on t h e human e x p e r i e n c e . Though human l i f e i s by d e f i n i t i o n unhappy, i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s c h e r i s h e d by h i s p r o t a g o n i s t s , who a r e t o r n between t h e vague, u n s a t i s f i e d d e s i r e s w h i c h make them l o n g f o r an end to s e p a r a t i o n , and t h e p a s s i o n s and memories o f t h i s l i f e . 40 v o y a g e s and a d v e n t u r e s of t h e t y p e g l o r i f i e d by t h e G r a i l l e g e n d s . In f a c t , even t h e most c u r s o r y e x a m i n a t i o n of t h e p l a y s r e v e a l s more t h a n s u p e r f i c i a l p a r a l l e l s between th e a d v e n t u r e s of Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s and t h o s e of t h e k n i g h t s of t h e H o l y G r a i l . The many echoes of the G r a i l myths i n the p l a y s i n c l u d e t h e d e e r and hound w h i c h a p p e a r so f r e q u e n t l y i n The Shadowy Waters and i t s companion p i e c e , 4 1 The Wanderings of O i s i n , and t h e m a g i c a l s h i p s of The Shadowy 42 Waters and At t h e Hawk's W e l l . W h i l e The Green Helmet i s t h e p l a y most o b v i o u s l y i n f l u e n c e d by t h e G r a i l myths, i t can be a r g u e d t h a t At t h e Hawk's W e l l i s a f a i l e d q u e s t , d e p i c t i n g a c a l l o w , v a i n - g l o r i o u s h e r o n o t y e t w o r t h y of s e e i n g t h e H o l y G r a i l — t h e s i m i l a r i t y between th e d r y w e l l and the bound-l e s s s p r i n g w h i c h d r i e s up i n L a n c e l o t ' s p r e s e n c e can h a r d l y be a c c i d e n t a l . ^ Y e a t s ' s symbols a r e , he w r o t e , " p r o p e r l y r e l a t e d t o t h e d e e r and hound t h a t f l i c k e r i n and out of the v a r i o u s t e l l i n g s of t h e A r t h u r i a n l e g e n d s , l e a d i n g d i f f e r e n t k n i g h t s on a d v e n t u r e s " (VJE 806) . 4 2 L i k e Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , the G r a i l l e g e n d s a r e , a r g u e s P.M. M a t a r a s s o , d e r i v e d f r o m " C e l t i c myth where t h e r u d d e r -l e s s s h i p , t o w h i c h t h e h e r o e n t r u s t s h i m s e l f , t r a n s p a r e n t l y d e n o t e s t h e a c c e p t a n c e of l i f e ' s a d v e n t u r e and i t s c o n c o m i t a n t p e r i l s and r e w a r d s . The s h i p s , t o o , o f f e r p a s s a g e t o t h e O t h e r W o r l d , and i t i s n o t e w o r t h y t h a t i n t h e Que s t t h e s e c r a f t e i t h e r f e r r y the e m i s s a r i e s o f heaven and h e l l , or c a r r y t h e c h o s e n k n i g h t s on v o y a g e s o f s p i r i t u a l d i s c o v e r y " ; The Quest of t h e H o l y G r a i l , t r a n s . P. M. M a t a r a s s o (New Y o r k : P e n g u i n Books, 1969), p. 289, n. 25. The Quest of t h e H o l y G r a i l , p. 172. 41 The v a r i o u s j o u r n e y s u n d e r t a k e n by Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s have d i s t i n c t l y s p i r i t u a l o v e r t o n e s — m a n y o f t h e s e c h a r a c t e r s echo P a u l R u t t l e d g e ' s s e n t i m e n t t h a t "as I c a n ' t l e a p from c l o u d t o c l o u d I want t o wander from r o a d to r o a d . . . . D i d you e v e r t h i n k t h a t t h e r o a d s a r e t h e o n l y t h i n g s t h a t a r e e n d l e s s . . . ? They a r e t h e s e r p e n t o f e t e r n i t y " (VP1 1081). L i k e t h e k n i g h t s o f t h e H o l y G r a i l , Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s a r e g e n e r a l l y s p i r i t u a l s e e k e r s , embarked on an upward or i n w a r d j o u r n e y i n w h i c h t h e y s t r u g g l e t o e s c a p e th e bonds of t h e m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n and to r e g a i n a h i g h e r s p i r i t u a l e x i s t e n c e . F o r g a e l i s a m a g i c i a n i n some v e r s i o n s o f t h e p l a y , i d e n t i f i e d , l i k e C u c h u l a i n i n the I r i s h l e g e n d s , w i t h t h e D r u i d s ; t h e y b o t h s t r i v e t o become one w i t h t h e gods w h i l e s e e k i n g f o r a 44 knowledge, and a c o n d i t i o n , d e n i e d t o mankind. Whether r e b e l s , s a i n t s , p o e t s o r l o v e r s , t h e y a r e a l l d r i v e n by a vague, n a m e l e s s d e s i r e , a d e s i r e w h i c h , s a y s t h e F o m o r i a n God T e t h r a i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , was u n l e a s h e d a t c r e a t i o n and c a n n o t be s a t i s f i e d u n t i l t h e end of c r e a t i o n . They a l l s e e k , S. B. B u s h r u i p o i n t s out F o r g a e l ' s r o l e as a magus i n Y e a t s ' V e r s e P l a y s : The R e v i s i o n s 1900-1910 ( O x f o r d a t t h e C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1965), pp. 9-10; D r u i d i c magic r i t u a l s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e i r p r o p e n s i t y f o r human s a c r i f i c e s u c h as t h e Fomors demand of F o r g a e l , a r e d e s c r i b e d by C h a r l e s S q u i r e i n C e l t i c Myth and Legend ( H o l l y w o o d , C a l . : N e w c a s t l e P u b l i s h i n g Co., L t d . , 1975), pp. 36-7. V. Moore q u o t e s from J o hn Rhys, who s t a t e s t h a t C u c h u l a i n "was e d u c a t e d a t t h e s c h o o l o f w h i c h C a t h b a d a D r u i d was t h e m a s t e r ... who had ... made him a m a s t e r o f i n q u i r y i n the a r t s of the God of D r u i d i s m and M a g i c " i n U n l c o r n , p. 49. 42 t h o u g h t h r o u g h d i f f e r e n t p a t h s , t h e same u n a t t a i n a b l e o b j e c t . The v a r i o u s j o u r n e y s of t h e m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s i n t h e p l a y s a r e i n f a c t d i f f e r e n t m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of t h e j o u r n e y upon w h i c h a l l s p i r i t s embark a t c r e a t i o n , and w h i c h t h e y p u r s u e t h r o u g h a l l l e v e l s of b e i n g , s e e k i n g t o s l a k e a t h i r s t w h i c h can o n l y be quenched by t h e r e u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e t r u e o b j e c t of d e s i r e a t t h e end of s e p a r a t i o n , t h e e x t i n c t i o n of c r e a t i o n . However, t h i s j o u r n e y i s "no o r d e r l y d e s c e n t from l e v e l . t o l e v e l , no w a t e r f a l l , but a w h i r l p o o l , a g y r e , " as Y e a t s w r o t e of l i f e i n A V i s i o n (B 4 0 ) . The j o u r n e y i s a c o n t i n u -ous s t r u g g l e , and t h e s p i r i t , immersed i n t h i s s t r u g g l e , k e e ps l o s i n g s i g h t of t h e u l t i m a t e g o a l , s p i r i t u a l r e g e n e r a t i o n . W h i l e Y e a t s ' s s e e k e r s a r e more aware t h a n t h e i r f e l l o w men of t h i s u l t i m a t e g o a l , t h e y t o o , l i k e C u c h u l a i n i n the m i d d l e p l a y s , and l i k e M a r t i n Hearne i n The U n i c o r n from th e S t a r s , 45 keep f o r g e t t i n g i t . T h i s s t r u g g l e i s f r a u g h t w i t h c o n f l i c t as much as w i t h u n s a t i s f i e d d e s i r e s . T h e r e i s no e s c a p e from c o n f l i c t a t any l e v e l of c r e a t i o n , s i n c e f o r Y e a t s c r e a t i o n Here l i e s one o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g and t h e p l a y w h i c h r e p l a c e d i t and w h i c h Y e a t s g r e a t l y p r e f e r r e d , The U n i c o r n f r o m th e S t a r s . I n t h e f o r m e r , th e p r o t a g o n i s t i s a s a i n t - l i k e f i g u r e who i s t o o o f -t e n above t h i s s t r u g g l e ; i n t h e l a t t e r t h e p r o t a g o n i s t i s a f l a w e d m o r t a l who s t r u g g l e s t h r o u g h o u t th e p l a y t o remember what he once knew, and who commits many b l u n d e r s i n t h e p r o c e s s . 43 means c o n f l i c t , t h r o u g h t h e d i v i s i o n of t h e One i n t o innume-r a b l e , s e p a r a t e b e i n g s ; t h e r e w i l l be no r e s o l u t i o n of t h i s c o n f l i c t u n t i l the end of t ime. T h i s c o n f l i c t i s m a n i f e s t e d i n s e v e r a l ways i n t h e p l a y s , as a c o n f l i c t among m o r t a l s , but a l s o between m o r t a l s and d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s , and even between d i f f e r e n t d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s . The most i m p o r t a n t c o n f l i c t i s p e r h a p s t h a t between man and h i s " f a t e , " i n t h e b a t t l e between f r e e w i l l and d e t e r m i n i s m w h i c h i s c e n t r a l t o a number of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s . But more of t h i s l a t e r . I t i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l e t h a t Y e a t s a c c e p t e d t h e j o u r n e y of the s p i r i t a l o n g t h e h i e r a r c h y o f b e i n g as l i t e r a l l y t r u e . I t i s f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t , t h o u g h Y e a t s ' s u n d e r -s t a n d i n g o f t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e s o u l i n i t s l a r g e s t c o n t e x t has d e f i n i t e p a r a l l e l s t o h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e w o r k i n g s of t h e i n d i v i d u a l i m a g i n a t i o n , t h i s s t u d y i s c o n c e n t r a t i n g on u n r a v e l l i n g o n l y t h e f o r m e r . Y e a t s ' s p r o n o u n c e m e n t s on t h e h i s t o r y of t h e s o u l have t o o o f t e n been u n d e r s t o o d o n l y as m e taphors f o r t h e c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s e s of t h e i n d i v i d u a l (and i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e s u b j e c t i v e , or a n t i t h e t i c a l ) mind. H e l e n V e n d l e r ' s Y e a t s ' s V i s i o n and the L a t e r P l a y s , f o r example, the o n l y book t o make a s y s t e m a t i c s t u d y o f t h e p l a y s i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s , r e d u c e s Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l b e l i e f s t o a s y s t e m of p o e t i c images. Y e a t s ' s "meta-44 p h o r s f o r p o e t r y " become i n h e r book metaphors about p o e t r y and about t h e c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s o f t h e p o e t ; h e r c e n t r a l t h e s i s i s t h a t A V i s i o n i s s o l e l y "a s e r i e s o f m e t a p h o r i c a l s t a t e m e n t s about p o e t r y , . . . t h e p o e t ' s v i s i o n i n a metapho-46 r i c a l d i s g u i s e . " W h i l e V e n d l e r ' s a p p r o a c h i s o f t e n u s e -f u l , i t i s p e r f o r c e l i m i t e d , and she r u n s i n t o p r o b l e m s when she t r i e s t o i n t e r p r e t m e t a p h o r i c a l l y s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h Y e a t s ( o r h i s i n s t r u c t o r s ) meant q u i t e l i t e r a l l y . A c a s e i n p o i n t i s Y e a t s ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f U n i t y o f B e i n g . W h i l e he c l a i m s t h a t U n i t y o f B e i n g i n i t s l a r g e s t s e n s e , as t h e f i n a l u n i o n of a l l s p i r i t s a t w h i c h a l l d e s i r e and a l l s e p a r a t i o n c e a s e s , can o n l y be a c h i e v e d a t the d e s -t r u c t i o n of c r e a t i o n , he a l s o c l a i m s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l U n i t y of B e i n g , t h e u n i o n of t h e c r e a t o r w i t h the o b j e c t of h i s c r e a t i o n , can be a c h i e v e d by t h e s u b j e c t i v e ( a n t i t h e t i c a l ) m o r t a l , p a r t i c u l a r l y a t Phase 17 of t h e G r e a t Wheel. The d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t t h e d e s i r e f o r U n i t y of B e i n g i s o n l y t e m p o r a r i l y a s s u a g e d a t t h i s p h a s e , s i n c e t h e m o r t a l must e x p e r i e n c e many s u b s e q u e n t p h a s e s o f the w h e e l of l i f e , and c a n n o t be c o m p l e t e l y s a t i s f i e d u n t i l t h e s p i r i t j o i n s i t s t r u e o b j e c t of d e s i r e , of w h i c h a l l o b j e c t s i n an i n c a r n a t e s t a t e a r e m e r e l y a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , i n the f i n a l u n i o n , the H e l e n H. V e n d l e r , Y e a t s ' s V i s i o n and t h e L a t e r p l a y s ( C ambridge, Mass.: H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 y o j ) , p. 30. 45 r e t u r n t o t h e One. V e n d l e r has some d i f f i c u l t y i n u n d e r -s t a n d i n g the d i f f e r e n c e between t h e s e two c o n c e p t s , s i n c e m e t a p h o r i c a l l y t h e y d e s c r i b e t h e same p r o c e s s , and i s f o r c e d i n t o a number of e l a b o r a t e e x p l a n a t i o n s of Y e a t s ' s s y s t e m : In some ways, we can r e g r e t t h a t Y e a t s i d e n t i f i e d the f u s i o n of thought, and image by two d i f f e r e n t s y m b o l s . . . but t h e s e e m i n g l y n e e d l e s s d u p l i c a t i o n was i n e v i t a b l e b e c a u s e he had a l r e a d y s p l i t h i s s y s t e m i n two, i n t o " i n c a r n a t e l i f e " and " d i s c a r -n a t e l i f e , " i n t o F a c u l t i e s and P r i n c i p l e s , and t h e r e f o r e he r e q u i r e d a symbol of p e r f e c t i o n f o r e a c h h a l f o f t h e s y s t e m . ^ ° These a r e n o t e q u a l though s e p a r a t e p a r t s of t h e s y s t e m , as V e n d l e r s u g g e s t s ; one f i t s i n t o t h e o t h e r , b e c a u s e i n c a r n a t e l i f e i s o n l y a s e c t i o n of the l a r g e r s y s t e m , w h i c h c o m p r i s e s the whole. V e n d l e r a l s o m i s u n d e r s t a n d s the d i f f e r e n c e b e t -ween the F a c u l t i e s and t h e P r i n c i p l e s i n Y e a t s ' s s y s t e m : w h i l e the F a c u l t i e s do i n f l u e n c e i n c a r n a t e l i f e , t h e p e r i o d from b i r t h t o d e a t h , t h e P r i n c i p l e s i n f l u e n c e b o t h i n c a r n a t e and d i s c a r n a t e l i f e , or t h e p e r i o d from b i r t h t o b i r t h (AV (B) 188). Thus the g y r e o f t h e F a c u l t i e s w h i r l s i n o n e - h a l f of t h e g y r e of t h e P r i n c i p l e s (AV (B) 2 0 1 ) , j u s t as human l i f e w h i r l s i n "a g y r e or p a r t of a g y r e , whereas r e a l i t y q ' Y e a t s ' s G r e a t Wheel i s c l e a r l y e x p l a i n e d i n A V i s i o n , and w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l i n t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s . 4 8 V e n d l e r , p. 69. V e n d l e r r e f e r s t o Phase 15 r a t h e r t h a n 17 b e c a u s e , even though Y e a t s c l e a r l y s t a t e s t h a t i n Phase 15 " t h e r e i s s t i l l s e p a r a t i o n f r o m th e l o v e d one" (AV (B) 136), t h i s p h a s e , b e i n g out of t h e body, i s a b e t t e r symbol t h a n i s phase 17. 46 49 i s a s p h e r e " ( P r o p o s i t i o n V I I ) . V e n d l e r ' s book a c k n o w l e d g e s o n l y p a r t o f Y e a t s ' s s y s -tem, c o n c e n t r a t i n g on the human, and i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e p o e t ' s , c o n d i t i o n , and t h u s e x c l u d i n g t h e t o t a l i t y o f t h e s o u l ' s e x p e r i e n c e , of w h i c h human l i f e and human c r e a t i o n s , while- r e a l , a r e a l s o m e r e l y s y m b o l s . In t h i s s t u d y I hope to r e d r e s s t h a t b a l a n c e . I t i s t h e r e f o r e my i n t e n t i o n t o t r a c e 'the h i s t o r y o f the s o u l ' or s p i r i t as i t i s e l u c i d a t e d t h r o u g h Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , w h i l e d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n , whenever n e c e s s a r y , t o t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s . Y e a t s h i m s e l f would d o u b t l e s s p r e f e r t h i s a p p r o a c h t o a s t u d y of t h e meta-p h y s i c s on i t s own. He f e l t c o m p e l l e d t o s e t down h i s meta-p h y s i c s i n an a b s t r a c t and l o g i c a l manner. N e v e r t h e l e s s , he c o n s i d e r e d h i m s e l f p r i m a r i l y a p o e t and a d r a m a t i s t , b e l i e v -i n g i n t h e g r e a t e r power of a g e - o l d symbols t o t r a n s m i t h i s b e l i e f s , and, i n h i s drama p e r h a p s more t h a n i n h i s p o e t r y , b r e a t h e d l i f e and meaning i n t o t h e r a t h e r a b s t r u s e s t a t e m e n t s of A V i s i o n and t h e "Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s . " When s t u d i e d t o g e -t h e r w i t h t h e l a t t e r works, the p l a y s b e g i n to r e s o n a t e w i t h meaning, and many s u b t l e , even o b s c u r e , p a s s a g e s become r e a d i l y u n d e r s t a n d a b l e . 4 9 Note the s i m i l a r i t y t o P l o t i n u s ' 'Bpctrine of t h e two l o g i c a l moments" w h i c h , J.M. R i s t e x p l a i n s , s t a t e s t h a t " i n f i n i t e B e i n g s . . . . t h e r e a r e a s p e c t s o f f i n i t u d e and i n f i n i -t u d e . The One, i n c o n t r a s t to t h i s , i s i n f i n i t y i t s e l f . " Cf P l o t i n u s ; The Road t o R e a l i t y ( C a m b r i d g e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967), p. 31. 4 7 I do n o t p r e t e n d to p u r s u e a l l t h e r a m i f i c a t i o n s of a l l t h e t e n e t s of Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s , n o r can I hope t o u n e a r t h a l l t h e ways i n w h i c h i t i n f i l t r a t e s t h e drama. I i n t e n d o n l y to e l u c i d a t e t h e u n d e r l y i n g s y s t e m of b e l i e f s and to e s t a b l i s h i t s r e l a t i o n t o t h e aim and e x e c u t i o n o f t h e p l a y s , by d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n t o a few of t h e c e n t r a l themes, meta-p h o r s and symbols t h r o u g h w h i c h i t i s d e v e l o p e d i n t h e drama. I have l i m i t e d t h i s s t u d y t o an e x a m i n a t i o n of t h e v e r b a l c o n t e n t of t h e p l a y s , t h o u g h t h e r e i s no doubt t h a t Y e a t s ' s b e l i e f s were e q u a l l y i n s t r u m e n t a l i n s h a p i n g t h e form and s t r u c t u r e of t h e p l a y s , as even the f o l l o w i n g c u r s o r y l o o k a t the e v i d e n c e r e v e a l s . Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , as V. Moore has p o i n t e d o u t , a r e d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o t h e complex r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s w h i c h he and some f r i e n d s d e v i s e d a r o u n d the t u r n of t h e c e n t u r y , w h i l e s t r i v i n g t o r e c r e a t e t h e " I r i s h M y s t e r i e s . " These r i t u a l s a r e p r o -b a b l y t h e e a r l i e s t m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Y e a t s ' s r e l i g i o u s s y s t e m . The group hoped t o c r e a t e an I r i s h r e l i g i o n b a s e d on t h e a n c i e n t D r u i d i c f a i t h and c l o s e l y r e s e m b l i n g t h e E g y p t i a n and E l e u s i n i a n M y s t e r i e s p a s s e d on f r o m a n c i e n t t i m e s and t a u g h t by t h e O r d e r of t h e G o l d e n Dawn. Y e a t s f i r m l y b e l i e v e d t h a t s u c h I r i s h M y s t e r i e s had once e x i s t e d ; as V i r g i n i a Moore n o t e s , " C a e s a r ' s r e p o r t as t o t h e l e n g t h of t r a i n i n g p u p i l s - -48 twenty y e a r s — h e i g h t e n e d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y " f o r him. Y e a t s , a l o n g w i t h Maud Gonne and members of the I n n e r O r d e r of t h e G o l d e n Dawn, s p e n t t e n y e a r s w o r k i n g f e v e r i s h l y to d e v i s e t h e s e r i t u a l s ; t h o u g h s t i l l u n p u b l i s h e d , t h e y do e x i s t . ^ ^ Based on t h e d r a m a t i c r i t u a l s of magic a d o p t e d by t h e O r d e r of t h e G o l d e n Dawn, t h e s e d r u i d i c r i t u a l s s h a r e w i t h Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , as t h e f o l l o w i n g s t a t e m e n t by Moore a t t e s t s , many o f t h e same a s s u m p t i o n s about the i n t u i t i v e , i r r a t i o n a l n a t u r e of t r u t h , and about t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of e v o k i n g i t t h r o u g h s y m b o l s . What t h e o r y s u p p o r t s c e r e m o n i a l magic? T h a t s a c r e d words, g e s t u r e s and a d m o n i t i o n s , f o u n d e s o t e r i c a l l y and woven i n t o a homogeneous drama, have g r e a t e r i m p a c t upon t h e s o u l t h a n t h e same t h i n g s t a u g h t i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and a b s t r a c t l y ; and t h a t t h i s p s y c h i c e f f e c t , when combined w i t h c e r t a i n p o w e r f u l magic f o r m u l a e , a l t e r s t h e u n i v e r s e and man.52 T h e r e a r e o t h e r s i m i l a r i t i e s . The d r a m a t i c r i t u a l s of m a g i c , 50 V. Moore, The U n i c o r n , pp. 57-8. ^ M o o r e d e s c r i b e s t h e s e r i t u a l s on pp. 68-70 of h e r book, w h i l e G. M. H a r p e r , i n Y e a t s ' s G o l d e n Dawn, p. 165, n. 19, m e n t i o n s t h a t " t h e s e d i v i n a t i o n s a r e p r e s e r v e d e l s e w h e r e i n the Y e a t s p a p e r s , u n d e r t h e h e a d i n g o f ' V i s i o n s o f O l d I r i s h M y t h o l o g y ' . " 52 Moore, The U n i c o r n , p. 128. 49 as d e s c r i b e d by I s r a e l R e g a r d i e , c o n s i s t i n t h e r e c r e a t i o n of t h e deeds and l i f e - c y c l e of a God o r " o c c a s i o n a l l y t h e t e r r e s t r i a l c y c l e s of an i d e a l man or God-man"; ea c h r i t u a l i s "marked by t h e e n t h u s i a s t i c r e p e t i t i o n of a s e r i e s of h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n c i d e n t s i n jhxsj h i s t o r y . . . " . The most o b v i o u s p a r a l l e l i n Y e a t s ' s drama i s t h e C u c h u l a i n c y c l e , i n w h i c h t h e i m p o r t a n t e v e n t s of h i s l i f e , f o u n d i n the I r i s h myths s e t down by Hyde, Lady G r e g o r y and o t h e r s , and m o d i f i e d by Y e a t s , a r e e n a c t e d . MacGregor M a t h e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e s e t t i n g of t h e s e r i t u a l s ( i n h i s t r a n s -l a t i o n of The Key of Solomon, p e r h a p s the most famous t e x t of r i t u a l m a g i c ) , however, i n v o k e s v i r t u a l l y a l l o f Y e a t s ' s p l a y s : The p l a c e s b e s t f i t t e d f o r e x e r c i s i n g and accom-p l i s h i n g M a g i c A r t s and O p e r a t i o n s a r e t h o s e w h i c h a r e c o n c e a l e d , removed, and s e p a r a t e d f r o m the h a b i t a t i o n s o f men. W h e r e f o r e d e s o l a t e and u n i n -h a b i t e d r e g i o n s a r e t h e most a p p r o p r i a t e , s u c h as the b o r d e r s of l a k e s , f o r e s t s , d a r k and o b s c u r e p l a c e s , o l d and d e s e r t e d h o u s e s , w h i t h e r r a r e l y and s c a r c e e v e r do men come... The d r a m a t i c r i t u a l s of magic a l s o r e s e m b l e t h e s e p l a y s i n numerous p a r t i c u l a r s , from the use of m u s i c i a n s t o s i g n a l t h e o p e n i n g o f t h e drama, to the dance as t h e c l i m a x of t h e 5 3 I . R e g a r d i e , The T r e e o f L i f e , p. 224, 5 Z f Q u o t e d i n E, M. B u t l e r , R i t u a l M a g i c (Cambridge a t the U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1949), p. 52. 50 drama, t o t h e masks as t h e most i m p o r t a n t a d j u n c t o f m a g i c a l c e r e m o n i e s . ^ A l l t h i s s u p p o r t s M i c h a e l S i d n e l l ' s argument t h a t " I n Y e a t s v i s i o n and b e l i e f , more t h a n i n f o r m i n g t h e ' c o n t e n t ' of t h e p o e t r y , d e t e r m i n e i t s s t r u c t u r a l c o n v e n -t i o n s . " ^ I t seems i n d i s p u t a b l e , t h e n , t h a t t h e f o r m and s t r u c t u r e , as much as t h e c o n t e n t of t h e p l a y s , was t r e m e n -d o u s l y i n f l u e n c e d by Y e a t s ' s e v o l v i n g b e l i e f s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , I must l e a v e a l l f u r t h e r d o c u m e n t a t i o n of t h i s argument t o a n o t h e r s t u d y , and l i m i t t h i s work t o t h e "mere s t o r y " of t h e p l a y s . I have f o u n d th e m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s and t h e e a r l i e s t p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n s of t h e p l a y s to be t h e most u s e f u l f o r t h i s p u r p o s e , s i n c e t h e y o f t e n r e t a i n much of t h e a b s t r a c t t h o u g h t w h i c h Y e a t s e l i m i n a t e d f r o m t h e l a t e r v e r s i o n s , and a l s o show the d e v e lopment of t h e m e t a p h o r s and images w i t h w h i c h Y e a t s g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e d i t . I have g r o u p e d the p l a y s by theme, w i t h o u t v e r y much r e g a r d to t h e c h r o n o l o g y e x c e p t as t h i s was d i c t a t e d by t h e themes w i t h i n t h e p l a y s them-s e l v e s . The i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f s t u d y i n g t h e p l a y s i n any m e a n i n g f u l c h r o n o l o g i c a l way has o f t e n been p o i n t e d o u t ; Y e a t s r e w r o t e and r e v i s e d h i s p l a y s f a r too o f t e n . As ' Regardie, T r e e o f L i f e , pp. 139-173; 'M. S i d n e l l , Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t , p. 223-235 . 225 . 51 S. B. B u s h r u i n o t e s , Some c r i t i c s m i ght even now a g r e e w i t h E r n e s t Boyd t h a t : ' Y e a t s has so f r e q u e n t l y and so m a t e r i a l l y r e v i s e d h i s p l a y s t h a t t h e y may be c o n s i d e r e d w i t h o u t i n s i s t e n c e upon c h r o n o l o g i c a l s e q u e n c e . R a d i c a l changes i n r e w r i t i n g d e p r i v e many of them of t h e i r p r i o r i t y . T i t l e and theme may b e l o n g t o an e a r l y d a t e , but a new e d i t i o n o f t e n means a new p l a y ; . I t would be s u p e r f l u o u s to p r e s e r v e t h e form of c h r o n o l o g y when the e s s e n t i a l s a r e lacking.'57 Y e a t s h i m s e l f w r o t e i n the " P r e f a c e " to Poems: 1899-1905 t h a t , I have p r i n t e d t h e p l a y s and poems i n t h e o r d e r of t h e i r f i r s t p u b l i c a t i o n , b ut so f a r as t h e a c t u a l w r i t i n g of v e r s e i s c o n c e r n e d , The Shadowy Waters and On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d have been so much r e w r i t t e n t h a t t h e y a r e l a t e r t h a n The K i n g ' s T h r e s h o l d . 5 8 I have a l s o u n d e r p l a y e d c h r o n o l o g y i n t h i s s t u d y b e c a u s e my aim has been n o t so much to e m p h a s i z e th e d e v e l o p m e n t o f Y e a t s ' s i d e a s as to s t r e s s t h e c o n t i n u i t y of t h o u g h t from one p l a y t o a n o t h e r , from t h e e a r l i e s t m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s of The Shadowy Waters t o The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n . A c l o s e s t u d y o f t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l b a s i s o f Y e a t s ' s drama r e v e a l s t h a t Y e a t s had i n t u i t e d h i s most p r o f o u n d b e l i e f s a bout t h e n a t u r e Quoted by S. B. B u s h r u i , Y e a t s ' V e r s e P l a y s : The  R e v i s i o n s 1900-1910 ( O x f o r d a t t h e C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1965), p. x i v , from E r n e s t Boyd's I r e l a n d ' s L i t e r a r y R e n a i s s a n c e , p. 138. Quoted by B u s h r u i , Y e a t s ' s V e r s e P l a y s , pp. x i v - x v . 52 and h i s t o r y o f t h e s p i r i t a t an e a r l y age. S t u d i e d as a 0 u n i t , t h e p l a y s r e v e a l i n p r a c t i c e t h e s y s t e m t h a t t h e p h i -• l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s expound i n t h e o r y ( i n d e e d , much of t h e e x c i t e m e n t f o r me has come from s e e i n g , t h r o u g h t h e p l a y s , j u s t how t h e s y s t e m w o r k s ) . The same me t a p h o r s and s y m b o l s , and e v e n , at t i m e s , t h e same words and p h r a s e s a r e us e d from one p l a y t o a n o t h e r , and a l l echo t h e same u n d e r l y i n g meaning: f o r example, images o f f i r e a r e f o u n d i n v i r t u a l l y a l l of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , and a r e a l l , u l t i m a t e l y , l i n k e d t o the end of the s o u l ' s j o u r n e y , s p i r i t u a l r e g e n e r a t i o n . In the n e x t c h a p t e r s I w i l l c h a r t t h e j o u r n e y and s t r u g g l e of t h e s p i r i t i n the drama. C h a p t e r I I b e g i n s w i t h the e m p t i n e s s a t t h e s o u r c e of c r e a t i o n , t h e n examines Y e a t s ' s t h e o r y on c r e a t i o n , on t h e s e p a r a t i o n of t h e One from t h e Many, and on t h e h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g and t h e c o n f l i c t between the v a r i o u s o r d e r s of b e i n g , w i t h p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e to t h e i r m a n i f e s t a t i o n i n t h e p l a y s . C h a p t e r I I I t r a c e s t h e j o u r n e y o f one s p i r i t from c r e a t i o n , t h r o u g h t h e c y c l e s of b i r t h and r e b i r t h , as i t i s documented i n t h e p l a y s t h r o u g h the theme of memory, of f o r g e t t i n g , l e a r n i n g and remembering. C h a p t e r IV s t u d i e s t h e p l i g h t of t h e s o u l i n t h e human c o n -d i t i o n , and i t s s t r u g g l e to a s s e r t i t s w i l l i n t h e f a c e of the f o r c e s of d e t e r m i n i s m w h i c h seek to c o n t r o l i t . The u l t i m a t e c o n c l u s i o n of t h i s s t r u g g l e must be t h e r e c o n c i l i a t i o n 53 of c hance and c h o i c e ; t h e s p i r i t , b e i n g " f r e e and y e t f a s t , " w i l l " s i n k i n t o i t s own d e l i g h t a t l a s t " (CP_ 2 5 8 ) . The c i r c l e w i l l t h u s be c o m p l e t e — b y p u r s u i n g t h e s t r u g g l e t h r o u g h the g y r e s of i n c a r n a t e and d i s c a r n a t e l i v e s , o f f i n i t u d e and i n f i n i t u d e , we w i l l i n e x o r a b l y r e t u r n t o the b e g i n n i n g . C h a p t e r I I : The H i e r a r c h y of B e i n g i n the Drama I And t h e n he l a u g h e d t o t h i n k t h a t what seemed so h a r d S h o u l d be so s i m p l e . . . . ("The Phases of t h e Moon," VE 3 7 7 ) We know t h a t Y e a t s c o n s c i o u s l y s t r u g g l e d t o d e v e l o p a c o h e s i v e m e t a p h y s i c s t h a t would make a l l of h i s w r i t i n g " p a r t of one h i s t o r y , and t h a t t h e s o u l ' s . " A l l h i s c o n -c e r n s , whether as p o e t or m a g i c i a n , d r a m a t i s t or p h i l o s o p h e r , r e v o l v e d a r o u n d t h e s p i r i t ; as he once w r o t e , "My own b e l i e f i s t h a t we know n o t h i n g ... but ' s p i r i t s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s ' " (Y & TSM 6 6 - 7 ) . I t i s t h e r e f o r e n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t ' s p i r i t s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s ' a r e a c e n t r a l p r e o c c u p a t i o n o f t h e drama, and c o n s t i t u t e a majo r t h e m a t i c l i n k between t h e d i f f e r e n t p l a y s . However, though t h e theme o f t h e s t r u g g l e o f t h e s p i r i t i s v e r y p e r v a s i v e i n Y e a t s ' s drama, i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s a r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t one t o a s s a y , s i n c e i t i s i n e x t r i c a b l y bound to Y e a t s ' s r a t h e r p e r s o n a l m e t a p h y s i c s . In o r d e r to d i s c u s s t h e n a t u r e , or h i s t o r y , or s t r u g g l e of t h e human s o u l or s p i r i t as i t i s d e v e l o p e d i n t h e drama, we must f i r s t come to terms w i t h t h i s m e t a p h y s i c s , and s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h Y e a t s ' s cosmology and o n t o l o g y . 55 Y e a t s had s e e m i n g l y u n o r t h o d o x i d e a s about t h e o r i g i n of the u n i v e r s e ( u n o r t h o d o x f o r a C h r i s t i a n , c e r t a i n l y ) , and t h e s e i d e a s d i c t a t e d t h e s e t t i n g of t h e p l a y s . H i s p l a y s e v o l v e w i t h i n t h e w o r l d as we know i t , but i t i s a w o r l d d e f i n e d by i t s o r i g i n a l c r e a t i o n and i t s u l t i m a t e d e s t r u c t i o n . T h ese b o u n d a r i e s a r e a l m o s t p a l p a b l e ; many of t h e c h a r a c t e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e e a r l y p l a y s , r e c a l l c r e a t i o n v i v i d l y and w i t h g r e a t s o r r o w , and l o n g f o r an end t o t h e i r s u f f e r i n g and f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n of t h e w o r l d . The w o r l d of t h e drama i s a l s o s h a r p l y d e f i n e d by i t s p r o x i m i t y t o , b u t d i f f e r e n c e f r o m , i n n u m e r a b l e o t h e r w o r l d s . Y e a t s ' s o n t o l o g y i s as u n o r t h o d o x as i s h i s c o s m o l o g y , and, as P h i l i p Marcus as n o t e d , i s more t h a n a l i t t l e o b s c u r e ; 1 i t must a l s o be u n r a v e l l e d i f we a r e to u n d e r s t a n d what Y e a t s means by t h e s p i r i t , and to g r a s p t h e r o l e and r e l a t i o n of t h e d i z z y i n g number and v a r i e t y o f s p i r i t s who a p p e a r i n t h e p l a y s . 2 F o r Y e a t s , t h e u n i v e r s e emerged out of n o t h i n g , out of a b o u n d l e s s d a r k n e s s w h i c h e x i s t e d b e f o r e g e n e r a t i o n and w h i c h i P h i l i p L. M a r c u s , "Myth and Meaning i n Y e a t s ' s The D e a t h  of C u c h u l a i n , " IUR, 2, i i ( 1 9 7 2 ) , p. 140: " Y e a t s ' s t h o u g h t i s u n f o r t u n a t e l y p a r t i c u l a r l y k n o t t e d and o b s c u r e b o t h on t h e s u b j e c t of " d e s t i n y " and on t h e v a r i o u s t y p e s of b e i n g s i n h a -b i t i n g t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d , " 2 The f o l l o w i n g i s a b r i e f summary o f the argument w h i c h w i l l be d e v e l o p e d , w i t h n e c e s s a r y r e f e r e n c e s and p r o o f s , i n t h e r e s t of t h e c h a p t e r . 56 c o n t i n u e s t o s u r r o u n d i t . T h i s n o t h i n g n e s s can a l s o be de-f i n e d as c o m p l e t e u n i t y , a P h a s e l e s s s p h e r e w h i c h i s c o m p l e t e and immutable and e t e r n a l . A t c r e a t i o n a form of e n e r g y ema-n a t e s from t h e s p h e r e w h i c h , b e i n g s e p a r a t e from i t , b e g i n s t h e p r o c e s s of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n by w h i c h n o t h i n g g i v e s b i r t h t o t h e Many, i n n u m e r a b l e s p i r i t s who a r e a l l e q u a l , and e a c h of whom forms an i n t e g r a l and n e c e s s a r y p a r t of t h e One or whole. These s e p a r a t e b e i n g s a r e ' s p i r i t s ' i n Y e a t s ' s t e r m i -n o l o g y , t h o u g h t h e y w i l l assume many d i f f e r e n t i d e n t i t i e s as t h e y p r o c e e d t h r o u g h the r e a l m s o f c r e a t i o n , b o t h as i n d i v i -d u a l s p i r i t s of a l l d e s c r i p t i o n s and as t h e e x t e r n a l f o r c e s 3 of t h e u n i v e r s e w h i c h i m p i n g e upon t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t s . I m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g c r e a t i o n , each of t h e s e s p i r i t s c o e x i s t s i n harmony i n t h a t " t i m e l e s s and s p a c e l e s s community of S p i -r i t s " w h i c h Y e a t s c a l l s R e a l i t y i n "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s . " However, b e c a u s e i t was s e p a r a t e d from t h e One and t h e r e f o r e from i t s e l f a t c r e a t i o n , e a c h o f t h e s e b e i n g s must u n d e r t a k e i t s j o u r n e y t h r o u g h c r e a t i o n a l o n e , s e e k i n g f o r t h e S e l f w h i c h i t has l o s t . T h i s j o u r n e y w i l l t a k e i t down t h r o u g h a l m o s t ^ I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, t h i s t h e o r y of c r e a t i o n c l o s e l y r e s e m b l e s t h e v i e w o f p o s t - E i n s t e i n i a n p h y s i c i s t s , who now p o s i t t h a t a l l m a t t e r , e n e r g y and l i g h t emerged a l l a t once, out of n o t h i n g , and t h e n expanded t o become t h e m i l l i o n s of e n t i t i e s i n t h e u n i v e r s e . The u n i v e r s e i s s t i l l e x p a n d i n g and d i v i d i n g , a c c o r d i n g to t h i s t h e o r y , b u t a t some f u t u r e p o i n t i t must s t o p e x p a n d i n g , and t h e n t h e f i e l d s of g r a v i t y of t h e v a r i o u s p l a n e t a r y b o d i e s w i l l a t t r a c t e a c h o t h e r g r a d u a l l y , u n t i l a l l j o i n t o g e t h e r and e x t i n g u i s h each o t h e r , t h u s r e t u r n i n g t o n o t h i n g . 5 7 e n d l e s s p h a s e s of b e i n g , where i t a c q u i r e s more and more l a y e r s of i n d i v i d u a t i o n w h i c h s e p a r a t e i t from a l l o t h e r s p i r i t s u n t i l , as a s o u l i m p r i s o n e d i n a human body, i t 4 a t t a i n s t h e most extreme d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n p o s s i b l e . When i t s j o u r n e y on e a r t h r e a c h e s an end, t h e s p i r i t does n o t c e a s e t o be, but s i m p l y e v o l v e s upward, g r a d u a l l y s h e d d i n g i t s l a y e r s of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , u n t i l i t j o i n s i t s H i g h e r S e l f , or a l l t h e s p i r i t s who form t h e e x t e r n a l u n i v e r s e , i n the f i n a l u n i o n w h i c h ends d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . T h i s i s what Y e a t s p o s t u l a t e d i n h i s n o t e s to The R e s u r r e c t i o n : We may come t o t h i n k t h a t n o t h i n g e x i s t s but a s t r e a m of s o u l s , t h a t a l l knowledge i s b i o g r a p h y , and w i t h P l o t i n u s t h a t e v e r y s o u l i s u n i q u e ; t h a t t h e s e s o u l s , t h e s e e t e r n a l a r c h e t y p e s , combine i n t o g r e a t e r u n i t s as days and n i g h t s i n t o months, months i n t o y e a r s , and a t l a s t i n t o t h e f i n a l u n i t t h a t d i f f e r s i n n o t h i n g from t h a t w h i c h t h e y were a t t h e b e g i n n i n g : e v e r y w h e r e t h a t a n tinomy of t h e One and t h e Many t h a t P l a t o t h o u g h t i n h i s P a r m e n i d e s i n s o -l u b l e , though B l a k e t h o u g h t i t s o l u b l e 'at t h e b o t t o m of the g r a v e s . ' (VP1 935) S p i r i t s l i v e i n harmony f o r a r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t t i m e f o l -l o w i n g c r e a t i o n , for. i n Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n l e a d s to d i v i s i o n and c o n f l i c t . F o r Y e a t s a l l l i f e can be T h i s i s not to d e n i g r a t e t h e i m p o r t a n c e of l i f e . Most of t h e p l a y s , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e l a t e r p l a y s , c e l e b r a t e t h e i m p o r t a n c e of t h i s l i f e i n the d e v e lopment o f t h e s p i r i t , and s t r e s s t h e p a s s i o n , t h e p a i n and j o y of l i f e w h i c h the d i s -c a r n a t e s p i r i t s envy. 58 d e f i n e d as c o n f l i c t ; as he e x p l a i n e d t o E t h e l M a nnin w h i l e d i s c u s s i n g The D e a t h o f C u c h u l a i n : To me a l l t h i n g s a r e made of t h e c o n f l i c t of two s t a t e s o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , b e i n g s o r p e r s o n s w h i c h d i e e ach o t h e r ' s l i f e , l i v e e a c h o t h e r ' s d e a t h . T h a t i s t r u e of l i f e and d e a t h t h e m s e l v e s . ^ E v e r y b e i n g w i t h i n c r e a t i o n i s s t r i v i n g , as we have s e e n , f o r an end t o s e p a r a t i o n , f o r a r e t u r n t o the o r i g i n a l U n i t y . T h i s can be a c h i e v e d o n l y t h r o u g h t:he s t r u g g l e w i t h i t s op-p o s i t e , s i n c e p e r f e c t i o n or c o m p l e t i o n i n Y e a t s ' s v i e w i s n o t e s c a p e from c o n f l i c t so much as i t i s a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of o p p o s i n g f o r c e s ; " a l l t h e g a i n of man comes from c o n f l i c t w i t h th e o p p o s i t e of h i s b e i n g " (AV (B) 1 3 ) . F o r t h i s r e a s o n the s p i r i t i s a l w a y s a t t r a c t e d by i t s o p p o s i t e ; i n t h e words" of P e t e r , an a c t o r i n an e a r l y v e r s i o n of The P l a y e r Queen, "We must al w a y s l o v e what we a r e n o t : t h e coward l o v e s c o u r a g e , the s l u g g i s h , e n e r g y , the s a d , d e l i g h t , t h e f o o l i s h , wisdom" (MPQ 115). Though the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of o p p o s i t e s i s s t r i v e n f o r d u r i n g human i n c a r n a t i o n s , i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e , e x c e p t at t h e f l e e t i n g moments of e c s t a c y e x p e r i e n c e d by l o v e r s , s a i n t s and i n p a r t i c u l a r p o e t s , u n t i l t h e s p i r i t p a s s e s t h r o u g h i t s p r e s c r i b e d c y c l e s and r e t u r n s t o t h e f i n a l u n i t y a t t h e end of c r e a t i o n : We a t t a i n i t a l w a y s i n t h e c r e a t i o n or enjoyment of a work of a r t , but t h a t moment though e t e r n a l i n t h e Daimon p a s s e s from us b e c a u s e i t i s n o t a n Quoted by P h i l i p Marcus i n " Y e a t s ' s The D e a t h o f  C u c h u l a i n , " p. 139. 59 a t t a i n m e n t of our whole b e i n g . The s t r u g g l e of t h e s p i r i t w i t h i n c r e a t i o n i s t h e r e f o r e c o n s t a n t , h e r a l d e d by one form o f c o n f l i c t o r a n o t h e r , e i t h e r between s p i r i t s a t a l l l e v e l s of e x i s t e n c e o r even w i t h i n t h e mind of t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t . Decima u n d e r s t a n d s t h i s when she s t a t e s , i n D r a f t s 11-12 of The P l a y e r Queen, " I t i s o n l y by c o n t i n u a l s t r u g g l e , c o n t i n u a l v i o l e n c e we f o r c e t h e g a t e s of Heaven" (MPQ 132-3). T h i s , i n a n u t s h e l l , i s Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s . I t w i l l be e l a b o r a t e d , and i t s u n f o l d i n g i n t h e v a r i o u s p l a y s d o c u -mented, i n t h e r e s t of t h i s c h a p t e r . I I . Beyond U n i t y The O l d T e s t a m e n t b e g i n s w i t h c r e a t i o n : " I n t h e b e g i n -n i n g God c r e a t e d heaven and e a r t h . " Y e a t s b e g i n s w i t h t h e b o u n d l e s s d a r k n e s s w h i c h i s t h e s o u r c e of c r e a t i o n . T h i s d a r k n e s s i s c o m p l e t e u n d i v i d e d e m p t i n e s s or f u l l n e s s , i n w h i c h a l l i n d i v i d u a t i o n c e a s e s ; i t i s t h e w hole, of w h i c h a l l l i v e s , a l l s o u l s , a l l w o r l d s a r e but a r e f l e c t i o n . I t i s most f u l l y d i s c u s s e d i n A V i s i o n w h i c h , b e i n g e s s e n t i a l l y a work of s a c r e d geometry, d e s c r i b e s i t as a ' P h a s e l e s s S p h e r e ' : From u n p u b l i s h e d n o t e s t o A V i s i o n q u o t e d by H e l e n V e n d l e r , Y e a t s ' s V i s i o n and the L a t e r P l a y s , p. 69. 60 The u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y , b e c a u s e n e i t h e r one n o r many, c o n c o r d n o r d i s c o r d , i s s y m b o l i s e d as a P h a s e l e s s S p h e r e . (AV (B) 3) Y e a t s t h u s goes beyond P l o t i n u s , t h e f i r s t p h i l o s o p h e r , as J . M. R i s t v e r y c o n v i n c i n g l y a r g u e s , to e l a b o r a t e on the d i f -f e r e n c e between the One and t h e No"u^, o r t h e Many,^ and who t a u g h t t h a t , The One must be t h e c a u s e o f a l l f i n i t e B e i n g s ; i t i s t h r o u g h the One t h a t s u c h B e i n g s e x i s t . These B e i n g s a r e n o t m e r e l y more f i n i t e examples o f u n i t y ; t h e y a r e d i f f e r e n t i n k i n d from the One, s i n c e t h e One i s a c t u a l l y t h e i r c r e a t o r . ^ P l o t i n u s d i s t i n g u i s h e d between t h r e e s t a t e s o r " A u t h e n -t i c E x i s t e n t s , " t h e One, t h e Many, and t h e S o u l , a d i f f e r e n t : t i a t i o n w h i c h Y e a t s e n d o r s e d and b o r r o w e d t o d e s c r i b e h i s F o u r P r i n c i p l e s : I i d e n t i f y t h e C e l e s t i a l Body \the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e ] w i t h th e F i r s t A u t h e n t i c E x i s t e n t of P l o t i n u s , S p i r i t w i t h h i s Second A u t h e n t i c E x i s t e n t , w h i c h h o l d s th e F i r s t i n I t s m o v e l e s s c i r c l e ; t h e d i s -c a r n a t e Daimons, or G h o s t l y S e l v e s , w i t h h i s T h i r d A u t h e n t i c E x i s t e n t or s o u l of t h e w o r l d ( t h e H o l y Ghost of C h r i s t i a n i t y ) w h i c h h o l d s th e s e c o n d i n i t s moving c i r c l e . (AV (B) 194) J . M. R i s t , P l o t i n u s , pp. 21-37. T h i s book i s p a r t i c u -l a r l y e n l i g h t e n i n g i n i t s m e t i c u l o u s d i s c u s s i o n of P l o t i n u s ' u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e One; R i s t ' s argument c o r r o b o r a t e s on many p o i n t s t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l b a s i s of t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y . 8 R i s t , P l o t i n u s , p. 26. 61 N e v e r t h e l e s s , though Y e a t s i m p l i e s t h a t h i s F o u r P r i n c i p l e s a r e r e c o n c i l e d i n t h e P h a s e l e s s S p h e r e , he makes a r e a l d i s -t i n c t i o n between them. "The r e s o l v e d a ntinomy a p p e a r s n o t i n a l o f t y s o u r c e fj:he C e l e s t i a l Body or t h e OneJ but i n the w h i r l p o o l ' s m o t i o n l e s s c e n t r e , o r beyond i t s edge" (AV (B) 195) . A V i s i o n i s d o m i n a t e d by t h e g y r e s and cones w h i c h r e -p r e s e n t t h e c e a s e l e s s , w h i r l i n g , e v e r - c h a n g i n g m o t i o n o f t h e c y c l e s of i n c a r n a t e l i f e r a t h e r t h a n by t h e Sphere b e c a u s e , i n Y e a t s ' s words, My i n s t r u c t o r s , k e e p i n g as f a r as p o s s i b l e to t h e phenomenal w o r l d , have s p e n t l i t t l e t i m e upon the S p h e r e , w h i c h can be s y m b o l i s e d but c a n n o t be known. (AV (B) 193) However, t h e s e symbols a r e , l i k e t h e f l e e t i n g phantoms of d e s i r e of Y e a t s ' s e a r l y works, m e r e l y " i n t h e m s e l v e s p u r -s u i t and i l l u s i o n " (AV (B) 7 3 ) ; l i k e the l i f e w i t h i n t i m e and s p a c e w h i c h t h e y r e p r e s e n t , t h e y o n l y m i r r o r r e a l i t y . The S p h e r e , w h i c h Y e a t s e q u a t e s w i t h e t e r n i t y , " t h e f i n a l p l a c e o f r e s t " (AV (B) 6 9 ) , ±s_ r e a l i t y . The Sphere encompasses e v e r y t h i n g ; i t i s t h e s e r p e n t w i t h i t s t a i l i n i t s mouth, the b e g i n n i n g and t h e end and e v e r y t h i n g i n between. Y e a t s r e -i t e r a t e s t h i s i n h i s "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " when he s t a t e s t h a t The a c t s and n a t u r e of a S p i r i t d u r i n g any one l i f e a r e a s e c t i o n o r a b s t r a c t i o n of r e a l i t y and a r e "unhappy 62 b e c a u s e i n c o m p l e t e . They a r e a g y r e or p a r t o f a g y r e , whereas r e a l i t y i s a S p h e r e . Y e a t s ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e s o u r c e and t r u e n a t u r e of r e a l i t y as t h e Sphere i s n e i t h e r new o r o r i g i n a l u n l e s s , i n K a t h l e e n R a i n e ' s words, "by o r i g i n a l we mean a r e t u r n to t h e o r i g i n s of knowledge w h i c h have been d i s c o v e r e d and known a g a i n and 9 a g a i n , and as o f t e n l o s t and f o r g o t t e n . . . " . I t can be t r a c e d to s u c h p r e - S o c r a t i c p h i l o s o p h e r s as P a r m e n i d e s and P y t h a g o r a s , and p e r v a d e s N e o - P l a t o n i c t h o u g h t ^ ; m o r e o v e r , i t i s r e i t e r a t e d i n much of t h e o c c u l t and m a g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e i n w h i c h Y e a t s was t h o r o u g h l y s c h o o l e d . ^ The S p h e r e , or 'God,' i s t h e c o m p l e t e e m p t i n e s s out of w h i c h e v e r y t h i n g comes; hence Y e a t s ' s s t i p u l a t i o n ( u s i n g ^ K a t h l e e n R a i n e , "Hades Wrapped i n C l o u d , " Y e a t s and t h e  O c c u l t , p. 104. ^ F . A. C. W i l s o n t r a c e s i t t o P l o t i n u s ' e s s a y "The H e a v e n l y C i r c u i t " i n h i s book Y e a t s and T r a d i t i o n (London: Methuen, 1958), p. 208: " I n t h i s e s s a y P l o t i n u s a c c o u n t s f o r the c i r c u l a r r o t a t i o n o f t h e h e a v e n l y b o d i e s by a p p l y i n g h i s symbol of t h e p e r f e c t c i r c l e of w h i c h God i s t h e c e n t r e . " ^ C f Mme B l a v a t s k y , The S e c r e t D o c t r i n e (London: The T h e o s o p h i c a l P u b l i s h i n g Company, L i m i t e d , 1888), p. 11. Mme B l a v a t s k y a g r e e s w i t h Y e a t s ' s i n s t r u c t o r s t h a t t h e r e i s l i t t l e t o be g a i n e d by d i s c u s s i n g t h e S p h e r e , s i n c e i t i s "An Omni-p r e s e n t , E t e r n a l , B o u n d l e s s and Immutable PRINCIPLE on w h i c h a l l s p e c u l a t i o n i s i m p o s s i b l e , s i n c e i t t r a n s c e n d s t h e power of human c o n c e p t i o n and c o u l d o n l y be d w a r f e d by any human e x p r e s s i o n o r s i m i l i t u d e " (p. 1 4 ) . Cf a l s o I . R e g a r d i e , The  T r e e of L i f e , pp. 45-6. 63 B l a k e ' s p h r a s e ) t h a t 'God o n l y a c t s or i s i n e x i s t i n g b e i n g s o r men.' In t h e p l a y s , Y e a t s u s u a l l y c a l l s i t ' N o t h i n g ' " r a t h e r t h a n t h e S p h e r e , f o l l o w i n g t h e e x p l a n a t i o n w h i c h he i n c l u d e s i n h i s s h o r t s t o r y , "Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g , " i n w h i c h a p r i e s t d e s c r i b e s t h e u n i v e r s e t o a s m a l l c h i l d as a s e r i e s of n i n e c r y s t a l l i n e s p h e r e s beyond w h i c h l i e s n o t h i n g , 12 or God (M 184-5). In h i s r e c e n t e s s a y on George Y e a t s , R. E l l m a n n has made much of Y e a t s ' s use of t h e word ' n o t h i n g ' i n h i s l a t e r w orks, a n d ; i n p a r t i c u l a r i n t h e l a t e r p l a y s . W r i t e s E l l m a n n , In May 1938 he [Yeats} w r o t e a q u a t r a i n f o r E d i t h S h a c k l e t o n H e a l d i n w h i c h he o f f e r e d , as " t h e ex-p l a n a t i o n of i t a l l , " t h a t From nowhere i n t o nowhere n o t h i n g ' s r u n . The same words r e s o u n d i n two o f h i s l a s t p l a y s : the o l d man i n P u r g a t o r y s a y s a t t h e end, " T w i c e a m u r d e r e r and a l l f o r n o t h i n g , " and t h e l a s t s p e e c h o f The H e m e ' s Egg i n c l u d e s t h e l i n e , " A l l t h a t t r o u b l e and n o t h i n g to show f o r i t . . . . " Y e t i n a n o t h e r l a t e . w o r k , t h e poem e n t i t l e d "The G y r e s , " Y e a t s i n s i s t e d t h a t out of "any d a r k r i c h n o t h i n g " ^ R i s t a r g u e s t h a t , though P l o t i n u s n e v e r a c t u a l l y c a l l e d t h e One ' N o t h i n g , ' s u c h an a t t r i b u t i o n i s t h e l o g i c a l e x t e n s i o n of h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the One: "The One t h e n i s no p a r t i c u -l a r f i n i t e B e i n g . I t i s , as P l o t i n u s f r e q u e n t l y s a y s , ' o t h e r t h a n B e i n g . ' S i n c e i t i s not a f i n i t e B e i n g , can i t be r e a s o n a b l y s a i d t h a t i t i s ' n o t - B e i n g beyond B e i n g , ' as P o r p h y r y p u t s i t ( S e n t e n t i a e , Ch. 26) o r even ' N o t h i n g , ' t h e term v e n t u r e d l a t e r by S c o t u s E r i g e n a ? We can d o u b t l e s s t r a c e t h e h i s t o r i c a l s e q u e n c e w h i c h l e d t o E r i g e n a ' s s u g g e s t i o n . . . " ; R i s t , P l o t i n u s , p. 29. 64 t h e whole gazebo would be b u i l t up once a g a i n . He c o u l d c o n c e i v e of n o t h i n g as empty and a l s o as p r e g n a n t . ^ E x a c t l y . E l l m a n n p r o c e e d s no f u r t h e r w i t h t h e argument; he seems c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h i s i s an u n d e f i n e d new d i r e c t i o n t h a t Y e a t s was t a k i n g i n h i s " s p e c u l a t i o n s about f i n a l m a t t e r s " towards t h e end of h i s l i f e . In f a c t , t h e " r i c h , d a r k n o t h i n g , " and t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of d e s t r o y i n g c r e a t i o n i n o r d e r t o r e t u r n to i t , i s an image Y e a t s used r e p e a t e d l y , a l m o s t o b s e s s i v e l y , i n t h e e a r l y p l a y s and i n s u c h poems as "He Mourns f o r t h e Change t h a t Has Come Upon Him and H i s B e l o v e d , and Longs f o r t h e End of t h e W o r l d " : I would t h a t t h e Boar w i t h o u t b r i s t l e s had come from th e West And had r o o t e d t h e sun and moon and s t a r s out of t h e sky And l a y i n the d a r k n e s s , g r u n t i n g , and t u r n i n g t o h i s r e s t . (VE 153) In t h e p l a y Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g P a u l R u t t l e d g e , t h e p r o t a g o n i s t , a t t e m p t s t o d e s t r o y t h e o r d e r of t h e c r e a t e d 14 w o r l d , " t o l i g h t t h e ' f i r e s o f the L a s t Day'," i n o r d e r to r e s t o r e t h e o r i g i n a l chaos and r e a c h i e v e n o t h i n g , o r God. P a u l l o n g s to e s c a p e th e w o r l d , f o r he b e l i e v e s t h a t " a t d e a t h t h e s o u l comes i n t o p o s s e s s i o n of i t s e l f , and r e t u r n s to t h e 1 3 R . E l l m a n n , New Y o r k Review Q f Books, May 17, 1979, p. 25. ^ W a r w i c k G o u l d , " L i o n e l J o h n s o n Comes F i r s t t o M i n d : S o u r c e s f o r Owen A h e r n e , " Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t , p. 267. 65 j o y t h a t made i t " (VP1 1160). He u n d e r s t a n d s , however, t h a t d e a t h o f t h e body does n o t mean an end t o h i s s o u l ' s wan-d e r i n g ; he must d e s t r o y a l l of c r e a t i o n i n o r d e r t o f i n d t h i s ' j o y . ' At f i r s t he e x h o r t s h i s f o l l o w e r s t o t e a r down towns, i n s t i t u t i o n s , and c h u r c h e s , b u t t h e n he remembers t h a t , be-caus e t h e w o r l d i s s p i r i t , and i m a g i n e d by s p i r i t s , t h e d e s -t r u c t i o n must t a k e p l a c e w i t h i n men's minds and s o u l s : " I was f o r g e t t i n g , we c a n n o t d e s t r o y t h e w o r l d w i t h a r m i e s , i t i s i n s i d e our minds t h a t i t must be d e s t r o y e d , i t must be c o n -sumed i n a moment i n s i d e our minds " (VP1 1158). P a u l s t r i p s h i m s e l f of a l l h i s w o r l d l y a t t a c h m e n t s i n o r d e r t o become n o t h i n g , and o f f e r s t h e same t o h i s f o l l o w e r s . E v e r y r e l i g i o u s t e a c h e r b e f o r e me has o f f e r e d some-t h i n g to h i s f o l l o w e r s , b u t I o f f e r them n o t h i n g . My s a c k i s q u i t e empty. I w i l l n e v e r d i p my hand i n t o n a t u r e ' s f u l l s a c k of i l l u s i o n s ; I am t i r e d of t h a t o l d c o n j u r i n g bag. (VP1 1154-5) P a t r i c i a M c F a t e and W i l l i a m Doherty, i n t h e i r e s s a y on t h i s p l a y , p o i n t out t h e p a r a l l e l between P a u l ' s c o n c l u s i o n s and the c o n c l u s i o n a t w h i c h t h e Wise Man a r r i v e s a t t h e end of The H o u r - G l a s s when he s a y s , "We s i n k i n on God, we f i n d him i n becoming n o t h i n g — w e p e r i s h i n t o r e a l i t y . " ' ' ' " ' M a r t i n Hearne i n The U n i c o r n from t h e S t a r s , a r e w o r k i n g P. E. McFate and W, E, D o h e r t y , "W. B. Y e a t s ' s Where  Th e r e i s N o t h i n g : Theme and Symbolism," IUR, 2, i i ( 1 9 7 2 ) , p. 153. 66 o f Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g , r e a c h e s a s i m i l a r c o n c l u s i o n a t t h e end of t h a t p l a y : We must put out the whole w o r l d as I put out t h i s c a n d l e {puts out a n o t h e r c a n d l e . J We must put out the l i g h t s of t h e s t a r s and t h e l i g h t o f t h e sun and t h e l i g h t of t h e moon [puts out the r e s t of t h e c a n d l e s ] , t i l l we have b r o u g h t e v e r y t h i n g t o n o t h i n g once a g a i n . I saw i n a b r o k e n v i s i o n , b u t now a l l i s c l e a r to me. Where t h e r e i s n o t h i n g , where t h e r e i s n o t h i n g — t h e r e i s God! (VP1 709) In t h e same way L a z a r u s i n C a l v a r y , who has welcomed d e a t h , w i l l n o t f o r g i v e C h r i s t f o r r e s u r r e c t i n g him, f o r d r a g g i n g him back t o t h e l i g h t and d e n y i n g him d e a t h and t h e waste s p a c e s "where t h e r e i s n o t h i n g " (VP1 783). The d e s i r e to d e s t r o y c r e a t i o n i n o r d e r t o r e t u r n to t h e d a r k n e s s w h i c h i s n o t h i n g i s e x p r e s s e d by t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s of q u i t e a number of Y e a t s ' s e a r l y p l a y s . In The Land of H e a r t ' s D e s i r e , Mary l o n g s f o r t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f t h e w o r l d , as t h e f o l l o w i n g c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h h e r husband i n d i c a t e s : Shaun: Would t h a t t h e w o r l d were mine t o g i v e y o u , And n o t i t s q u i e t h e a r t h s a l o n e , but even A l l t h a t b e w i l d e r m e n t o f l i g h t and f r e e d o m , I f you would have i t . Mary: I would t a k e t h e w o r l d And b r e a k i t i n t o p i e c e s i n my hands To see you s m i l e w a t c h i n g i t c r u m b l e away. (VP1 19 3) In The C o u n t e s s C a t h i e e n , the p o e t A l e e l , at t h e news of C a t h l e e n ' s d e a t h , c u r s e s t h e world and l o n g s f o r t h e same d e s t r u c t i o n : 67 And I who weep C a l l c u r s e s on y o u , Time and F a t e and Change, And have no e x c e l l e n t hope but t h e g r e a t h o u r When you s h a l l p l u n g e h e a d l o n g t h r o u g h b o t t o m l e s s s p a c e . (VP1 165) F o r g a e l , i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , hopes f o r a s i m i l a r d e s t r u c t -i o n , c r y i n g , " T h e r e i s no good ho u r b ut t h e hour when the gods and t h e s t a r s a l i k e s h a l l p e r i s h " (TPBS 4 4 ) . The e d i t o r s of the m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s of t h i s p l a y o f f e r a c o n c i s e e x p l a - - . n a t i o n of F o r g a e l ' s d e s i r e : In i t s e s s e n c e , F o r g a e l ' s b u r d e n of wisdom i s a r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t the w o r l d (...sometimes e m b r a c i n g ... a l l of c r e a t i o n ) has no d i s t i n c t r e a l i t y , b u t c o n s i s t s o n l y of a p p e a r a n c e s e m a n a t i n g f r o m him-s e l f ; or i n t h e a l t e r n a t i v e terms t h a t a r e a l s o o f f e r e d , a l l l i v e s — t h o s e of p l a n t s , b e a s t s , men and gods a l i k e — a r e m e r e l y a f l i g h t from t h e s i n g l e g r e a t s p i r i t . . . . Freedom from t h e b u r d e n o f l i v i n g t h r o u g h a s u c c e s s i o n of d e l u s i v e l i v e s can come o n l y w i t h t h e e x t i n c t i o n of c r e a t i o n and F o r g a e l ' s c r i  de c o e u r i s f o r t h e g r e a t hour when a l l c r e a t i o n w i l l be quenched. (DrC 7) Y e a t s b u i l t b o t h an i d e a l i s t and a r e a l i s t v i e w of r e a l i t y i n t o t h i s p l a y - - w h i l e t h e w o r l d i s a s u b j e c t i v e d e l u s i o n on F o r g a e l ' s p a r t , a "tower made of p o l i s h e d b l a c k s t o n e s w h i c h e a c h r e f l e c t h i s f a c e " (TPBS 4 4 ) , i t i s the j o i n t c r e a t i o n o f o t h e r s p i r i t s as w e l l , and t h e r e f o r e has an o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y w h i c h he c a n n o t d e s t r o y m e r e l y by w i s h i n g i t away. T h i s d e s i r e for t h e d e s t r u c t i o n of c r e a t i o n i s a l s o e x p r e s s e d by many of t h e d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s i n the p l a y s . "The a l l i a n c e of t h e Fomor j^the gods o f d a r k n e s s ! w i t h .' 68 F o r g a e l , " w r i t e t h e e d i t o r s of D r u i d C r a f t , "has ... most of i t s b i n d i n g power i n t h e i r common d e s i r e to an end t o t h e o r d e r of n a t u r e " (DrC 8 ) ; t h e D e v i l s i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n a l s o l o n g f o r t h e day when t h e i r " m a s t e r w i l l b r e a k up t h e sun and t h e moon / And quench the s t a r s i n t h e a n c e s t r a l n i g h t / And o v e r t u r n the t h r o n e ( t h r o n e s ) of God and t h e a n g e l s " (VP1 5 1 ) . I t may w e l l be t h a t t h e gods of d a r k n e s s have a v e s t e d i n t e r e s t i n r e t u r n i n g t o the a n c e s t r a l d a r k n e s s , though i t i s a d a r k n e s s t h a t , Y e a t s w r i t e s i n t h e n o t e s t o "The Wind Among the R eeds," w i l l d e s t r o y a l l t h e gods as w e l l as the w o r l d (VE_ 809)- More i n t e r e s t i n g i s the gods of L i g h t ' s d e s i r e f o r t h i s same d e s t r u c t i o n . In The Shadowy Waters as w e l l as i n i t s companion p i e c e The...Wanderings o f 1 6 ' P i s i n , Aengus, who i s t h e l o f t i e s t god among I r e l a n d ' s l e g e n d a r y gods, the T u a t h a de Danaan, a l s o l o n g s f o r t h e d e s -t r u c t i o n of c r e a t i o n , and even o f h i s own e x i s t e n c e . I n The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n we a r e t o l d t h a t Aengus dreams, from sun to sun A D r u i d dream of the end of days When the s t a r s a r e t o wane and t h e w o r l d be done. (VE 16); In The Shadowy W a t e r s , D e c t o r a d e s c r i b e s t h e ; D a n a a n s ~ a s w a i t i n g , " t r e m b l i n g w i t h hope,/ The hour when a l l t h i n g s s h a l l be B e c a u s e of i t s s i m i l a r i t i e s i n theme and mood, and b e c a u s e of i t s g r e a t e r l e n g t h , I have f o u n d The W a n d e r i n g s of  O i s i n t o be an i n d i s p e n s a b l e g l o s s on t h e e a r l y p l a y s , and use i t as s u c h t h r o u g h o u t t h i s s t u d y . In i t Y e a t s t r i e d out many i d e a s w h i c h he l a t e r r e w o r k e d i n t h e p l a y s . 69 f o l d e d up" (TPBS 1 4 ' ) . T h i s i s more t h a n a l i t t l e c o n f u s i n g , s i n c e t h e Danaans, and p a r t i c u l a r l y Aengus h i m s e l f , a r e d e p i c t e d as p e r f e c t e d b e i n g s , r e s i d i n g , i t i s i m p l i e d , beyond the c o n f l i c t and t u m u l t of c r e a t i o n . T h i s c o n f u s i o n i s e v i d e n t from one v e r s i o n of The Shadowy Waters t o a n o t h e r . In an e a r l y m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n , the Danaans a r e c l e a r l y t h e p e r f e c t e d community of s p i r i t s w h i c h Y e a t s d e s c r i b e d i n "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " l i v i n g i n harmony i n t h e ' l i g h t ' w h i c h , as we s h a l l s e e , i s more o f t e n t h a n n o t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p e r f e c t i o n i n Y e a t s ' s p l a y s : 0 ye b r i g h t gods we p r a i s e you w i t h our l o v e . You a r e n e v e r l o n e l y f o r you l i v e i n t h e l i g h t of e ach o t h e r s f a c e s — y o u r s o u l s a r e l i k e g o l d e n d r o p s of j o y . (DrC 53) In a n o t h e r v e r s i o n , F o r g a e l d e s c r i b e s them i n s i m i l a r terms and i m p l i e s t h a t t h e y o n l y can p a s s (and p e r h a p s a l r e a d y have p a s s e d ) i n t o the n o t h i n g beyond c r e a t i o n : None but t h e C h i l d r e n of Danu, the w h i t e h o s t T h a t moves i n m u s i c above t h e e l e m e n t s Have gaz e d i n one a n o t h e r ' s eyes and p a s s e d Beyond the shadow t o t h e s h a d o w l e s s deep. (DrC 95) N e v e r t h e l e s s , j o y f u l and s e r e n e though t h e y may be, t h e Danaans i n most v e r s i o n s l o n g f o r t h e i r own d e s t r u c t i o n . I t w ould a p p e a r t h a t t h i s c o n f u s i o n i s c a u s e d by t h e c l a s h between Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s and h i s d r a m a t i c s e n s e . 70 A c c o r d i n g to t h e f o r m e r i t i s o b v i o u s t h a t t h e Danaans, however j o y o u s and p e r f e c t e d , a r e s t i l l d i f f e r e n t i a t e d b e i n g s p r o -c e e d i n g from c r e a t i o n : ^ w h i l e t h e y may be " w h a t e v e r i n t h a t s t r e a m [of s o u l s w h i c h Y e a t s d e f i n e s as t h e Many] changes l e a s t , and t h e r e f o r e ... a l l s o u l s t h a t have f o u n d an a l m o s t 18 c h a n g e l e s s r e s t " (AV (A) 158), t h e y a r e s t i l l w i t h i n c r e a t i o n , s i n c e n o t h i n g e x i s t s o u t s i d e o f i t . M o r e o v e r , t h e y a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l i g h t , w h i l e n o t h i n g , as a number of p l a y s a t t e s t , i s c o m p l e t e d a r k n e s s . F o r g a e l i m p l i e s t h i s when he a c c u s e s the Danaans of h i d i n g w i t h t h e i r " b e w i l d e r i n g l i g h t s " (DrC 81) t h e peace of e t e r n i t y , w h i l e P a u l R u t t l e d g e s p e c i f i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e s n o t h i n g w i t h d a r k n e s s , s a y i n g t h a t he wants t o e s c a p e th e l i g h t of the w o r l d f o r The d a r k . Y e s , I t h i n k t h a t i s what I want. The d a r k , where t h e r e i s n o t h i n g t h a t i s a n y t h i n g , and nobody t h a t i s anybody; one can be f r e e t h e r e , where t h e r e i s n o t h i n g . (VP1 1091) M o r e o v e r , c o n f l i c t , w h i c h f o r Y e a t s d e f i n e s c r e a t i o n , i s e v e r y w h e r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e Danaans, i n t h e r o u t i n g of t h e Fomor from the kingdom of l i g h t w h i c h i s d e s c r i b e d i n a number of Y e a t s ' s works. i 0 T h e word " a l m o s t " i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t . The Many, no m a t t e r how p e r f e c t e d , have s t i l l n o t a c h i e v e d t h e c o m p l e t e , c h a n g e l e s s , m o t i o n l e s s (AV (B) 211) r e s t of t h e P h a s e l e s s S p h e r e . T h i s i s what R. S n u k a l does n o t u n d e r s t a n d when he s t a t e s t h a t Y e a t s , l i k e a l l i i e o - K a n t i a n s , n e v e r makes c l e a r "whether or n o t t h e A b s o l u t e [[the Ego, or God] has a s e p a r a t e o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s . I t i s n e v e r c l e a r ( f o r Y e a t s , as f o r o t h e r n e o - K a n t i a n s ) w h e t h e r r e a l i t y i s One b e i n g , t h e A b s o l u t e , o r w h e t h e r r e a l i t y i s a number o f s o u l s , who t a k e n t o g e t h e r , a r e t h e A b s o l u t e " ( H i g h T a l k , pp. 1 4 - 4 ) . 71 L a z a r u s a c c u s e s C h r i s t i n C a l v a r y o f h a v i n g b l i n d e d " w i t h l i g h t t h e s o l i t u d e / T h a t d e a t h has made" (VP1 7 8 3 ) . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o d r a m a t i z e an e t e r n i t y w h i c h i s a f o r m l e s s d a r k n e s s , u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , unknowable and i n d e s c r i b a b l e . T h a t Y e a t s s h o u l d o c c a s i o n a l l y r e l e n t and d e s c r i b e a g o l d e n , s o n g - f i l l e d p a r a d i s e i s t h u s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e . J u s t as he was t o s u b s t i t u t e a d e s c r i p t i o n of the g y r e s of l i f e i n A V i s i o n f o r t h a t of the S p h e r e , the u l t i m a t e ' r e a l i t y , ' and j u s t as he would d e s c r i b e t h e 'com-mu n i t y of s p i r i t s ' r a t h e r t h a n t h i s Sphere i n "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " Y e a t s i n c r e a s i n g l y s u b s t i t u t e d a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d of t h e n e a r l y p e r f e c t e d Many, u s u a l l y t h e k i n g -dom o f l i g h t o f t h e Danaans o r the F a e r y Kingdom o f t h e S i d h e , f o r t h a t of t h e unknowable S p h e r e . Though Y e a t s w avered back and f o r t h i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , i n the f i n a l v e r s i o n s of t h e p l a y t h e i n s i s t e n c e on a r e t u r n t o " t h o s e s t r e a m s where d r u i d s say / Time and t h e w o r l d and a l l t h i n g s d w i n d l e o u t " (DrC 285) i s d r o p p e d , and F b r g a e l moves i n s t e a d toward a k i n g -dom " o f s h i n i n g women t h a t c a s t no shadow, h a v i n g l i v e d / B e f o r e th e making of t h e e a r t h " (VP1 3 1 9 ) . C a t h l e e n a s c e n d s t o . a s i m i l a r kingdom, r e p l e t e w i t h s h i n i n g a n g e l s , i n The  C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , w h i l e In s u c h p l a y s as Where T h e r e i s  N o t h i n g and The U n i c o r n from the S t a r s , p a r a d i s e i s d e s c r i b e d as a p l a c e of p e r p e t u a l , j o y o u s c o n f l i c t ! 7 2 I I I . C r e a t i o n W h i l e Y e a t s ' s p l a y s f o c u s most e x p l i c i t l y on t h e d e s i r e of the v a r i o u s p r o t a g o n i s t s t o end c r e a t i o n , a number o f r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e a c t of c r e a t i o n , some o b l i q u e , o t h e r s more e x p l i c i t , a r e s c a t t e r e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y s , and f r o m them, i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h h i s s t a t e m e n t s i n o t h e r works, can be p i e c e d t o g e t h e r Y e a t s ' s t h e o r y of c r e a t i o n . Y e a t s p l a i n l y a s s e n t e d to t h e b e l i e f s on c r e a t i o n t h a t he a t t r i b u t e d to B e r k e l e y i n h i s e s s a y " B i s h o p B e r k e l e y , " t h a t " t h e Seven Days [were] n o t t h e c r e a t i o n of sun and moon, b e a s t and man, b u t t h e i r e n t r a n c e i n t o t i m e , or i n t o human p e r c e p t i o n , or i n t o t h a t o f some s p i r i t . . . " (E & I 4 0 3 ) , and t h a t t h i s c r e a t i o n i s the same whether i t be c o n c e i v e d by man o r by God ( s i n c e t h e y a r e e s s e n t i a l l y t h e same): "Man i n so f a r as he i s h i m s e l f , i n so f a r as he i s a p e r s o n a l i t y , r e f l e c t s t h e whole A c t o f God" (E & I 408, n. 1 ) . The Shadowy W a t e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n i t s m a n u s c r i p t v e r -s i o n s , i s t h e p l a y w h i c h d r a m a t i z e s t h i s b e l i e f most e x p l i c i t l y . In s e v e r a l e a r l y v e r s i o n s , as t h e e d i t o r s of A Tower o f P o l i s h e d  B l a c k S t o n e s n o t e , " a l l the S e a b a r s [ V o m o r i a n g o d s j a r e c r e a t e d i n F o r g a e l ' s mind..."; "Once fo r m e d , t h e s e c r e a t i o n s of F o r g a e l ' s mind c o n t i n u e t o e x i s t , F o r g a e l l i e s dead upon the deck, but t h e S eabar c o n t i n u e t o c i r c l e a r o u n d him" (TPBS x i i , 73 x i v ) . Y e a t s d e s c r i b e s i n d e t a i l F o r g a e l ' s c r e a t i o n of one su c h S e a b a r . When F o r g a e l f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h D e c t o r a , h i s l o v e becomes a s e p a r a t e , l i v i n g e n t i t y , a r e d S e a b a r ; t h i s same Se a b a r l a t e r becomes w h i t e when F o r g a e l ' s l o v e t u r n s . t o p i t y . E x p l a i n s t h e w h i t e S e a b a r : 'I was a f o r m l e s s phantom f l o a t i n g i n the d a r k n e s s | ? J u n t i l he who l i e s t h e r e [ F o r g a e l ] ] l o v e d & t h e n I was b o r n b ut t o a c r i m s o n shape f o r I t o o am one of [the?]] gods he has f a s h i o n e d ... w i t h h i s t h o u g h t and h i s d e s i r e . ' (TPBS 24) A n o t h e r pre-1896 v e r s i o n c o m p l e t e s t h i s argument: 'but now he was w h i t e f o r F o r g a e l was f u l l of p i t y , and b e i n g t h e s p i r i t of h i s p i t y he b r o u g h t t h e commandments o f p i t y . ' 1 9 F o r g a e l t h e c r e a t o r " t i r e [ s j o f s e e i n g a l w a y s t h e same f a c e " (TPBS 2 4 ) , and t h i n k s he may be a b l e t o e s c a p e from h i m s e l f t h r o u g h h i s l o v e f o r a n o t h e r , s e p a r a t e b e i n g , u n t i l , i n a number of v e r s i o n s , he r e a l i z e s t h a t even D e c t o r a i s a mere r e f l e c t i o n of h i m s e l f : ... away from me. You t o o . You t o o . Your eyes a r e but my e y e s , y o u r v o i c e i s but my v o i c e (TPBS 23) -19 That t h e w h i t e Seabar i s a C h r i s t f i g u r e i n t h e p l a y seems a r e a s o n a b l e a s s u m p t i o n t o make, f i r s t of a l l b e c a u s e he r e p r e s e n t s p i t y , j u s t as C h r i s t r e p r e s e n t s p i t y i n t h e W i l d e s t o r y w h i c h Y e a t s was r e a d i n g a t t h i s p e r i o d , and w h i c h l a t e r i n f l u e n c e d C a l v a r y . The w h i t e S e a b a r s a y s t h a t , l i k e a l l o t h e r S e a b a r s , "I too am p r e d a t o r y " ; t h e d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t "my beak t e a r s my own h e a r t a l o n e " (TPBS 24;). I n t h i s he r e s e m b l e s t h e P e l i c a n i n t h e G r a i l l e g e n d s who s t a b s i t s own b r e a s t t o p o u r 74 T h i s argument was more t h a n a l i t t l e u n w i e l d y , p a r t i -c u l a r l y s i n c e i t p r o v e d i m p o s s i b l e t o subsume e n t i r e l y i n images and s y m b o l s . Y e a t s t o y e d w i t h o t h e r v a r i a t i o n s of t h i s theme, i m p l y i n g i n a n o t h e r v e r s i o n (and t h u s compounding h i s p r o b l e m s ) , t h a t t h e S e a b a r s were c r e a t e d n o t by F o r g a e l b u t by t h e Danaans, " t h e gods who had made them i n t h e i r image" (DrC 2 0 ) . Y e a t s f i n a l l y d i s c a r d e d much of t h i s argument i n t h e f i n a l v e r s i o n s , o f t h e p l a y . In most o t h e r p l a y s , he was c o n -t e n t t o u n d e r p l a y t h i s theme, and t o couch most r e f e r e n c e s to c r e a t i o n i n t h e symbols of t h e C e l t i c c r e a t i o n myths. The most s u c c i n t a c c o u n t of t h e s e myths t h a t I have f o u n d , and t h a t w h i c h t a l l i e s most c l o s e l y w i t h Y e a t s ' s own r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e s u b j e c t , i s f o u n d i n t h e c h a p t e r "The C e l t i c Cosmogony" i n AE's book The C a n d l e of V i s i o n . S i n c e Y e a t s , as t h e i r c o r r e s p o n d e n c e makes c l e a r , c o n s i d e r e d AE an a u t h o r i t y on m a t t e r s of C e l t i c f a i t h , and s i n c e he was v e r y f a m i l i a r w i t h t h i s book, The  C a n d l e of V i s i o n i s an o b v i o u s s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r u n e a r t h i n g Y e a t s ' s r e f e r e n c e s to c r e a t i o n i n t h e drama. AE c l a i m s t o have w r i t t e n h i s book f o l l o w i n g h i s e x p e r i m e n t s w i t h Y e a t s and o t h e r members of t h e O r d e r of t h e G o l d e n Dawn t o r e - c r e a t e t h e i t s b l o o d o v e r i t s dead young, and d i e s as t h e y r e g a i n l i f e ; t h i s p e l i c a n , an abbot t e l l s B o r s , s i g n i f i e s C h r i s t (Cf The  Quest of t h e H o l y G r a i l , pp. 181, 1 8 6 ) . In the 1896 m a n u s c r i p t w h i c h Y e a t s s e n t to B e a r d s l e y he w r o t e t h a t " t h e s c e n e i s s e t i m m e d i a t e l y b e f o r e t h e b i r t h of C h r i s t " (TPBS 4 2 ) . 75 a n c i e n t D r u i d i c M y s t e r i e s , and h i s c h a p t e r e c h o e s on v a r i o u s p o i n t s Y e a t s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e s e e x p e r i m e n t s i n t h e " s t i f f -20 b a c k e d n o t e b o o k q u o t e d by V i r g i n i a Moore. AE s e t s out t o d e s c r i b e and e x p l a i n the C e l t i c c r e a t i o n myths from w h i c h th e modern C e l t i c c o s m o logy has d e s c e n d e d . In so d o i n g , he c l a i m s to d i s c o v e r s i g n i f i c a n t p a r a l l e l s , n o t o n l y t o a n c i e n t p h i l o s o p h i e s ( s o m e t h i n g w h i c h must have p l e a s e d Y e a t s ) but a l s o to a l l s a c r e d l i t e r a t u r e s , from th e B i b l e to 2 1 the U p a n i s h a d s . T h a t AE was a T h e o s o p h i s t l o n g e r t h a n Y e a t s may have s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h the f a c t t h a t h i s d e s r . :.. c r i p t i o n a l s o e c h o e s The S e c r e t D o c t r i n e and o t h e r m a g i c a l t e x t s . AE a g r e e s w i t h Mme B l a v a t s k y t h a t t h e Sphere i s 2 2 " d e v o i d of a l l a t t r i b u t e s " and c a l l s i t " b o u n d l e s s L i r " ( C a n d l e 153): We have f i r s t of a l l L i r , an i n f i n i t e b e i n g , n e i t h e r s p i r i t n o r e n e r g y n o r s u b s t a n c e , but . r a t h e r t h e s p i r i t u a l forms of t h e s e , i n w h i c h a l l t h e d i v i n e powers, r a i s e d above t h e m s e l v e s , e x i s t i n a m y s t i c u n i o n or t r a n c e . ( C a n d l e 155) D u r i n g c r e a t i o n , a t r i n i t y of powers emanate from L i r and ^ UV. Moore, The U n i c o r n , pp. 68-70. 2 1 A E (George R u s s e l l ) , The C a n d l e Of V i s i o n (1918; rpt... Wheaton, 111;..... The T h e o s o p h i c a l P u b l i s h i n g House, 1965), p. 163. A l l s u b s e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e s t o t h i s book w i l l be i n -s e r t e d i n the t e x t . Mme B l a v a t s k y , The S e c r e t D o c t r i n e , p. 14'. 76 t o g e t h e r c r e a t e t h e u n i v e r s e . They a r e f i r s t of a l l Manannan, whom AE d e s c r i b e s as " t h e d i v i n e i m a g i n a t i o n " and t h e " u n u t t e r e d word" ( C a n d l e 1 5 5 ) : "He i s t h e r o o t of e x i s t e n c e from w h i c h s p r i n g s t h e S a c r e d H a z e l , t h e symbol of l i f e 23 r a m i f y i n g e v e r y w h e r e . " Manannan c o n c e i v e s "an image of f u t u r i t y " and f o c u s e s i t on Dana, " t h e G r e a t Mother and S p i r i t of N a t u r e , [who] grows t h i r s t y t o r e c e i v e i t s i m p r i n t on h e r bosom, and t o b e a r a g a i n h e r o f f s p r i n g o f s t a r s and s t a r r y b e i n g s " ( C a n d l e 1 5 4 ) . C r e a t i o n i s c o m p l e t e d when a t h i r d i m p u l s e or power, " l o v e y e t u n b r e a t h e d " who i s Aengus the Young, "awakens as t h e image of t h e d i v i n e i m a g i n a t i o n i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e b e i n g of t h e M o t h e r , and t h e n r u s h e s f o r t h to embrace i t " ( C a n d l e 1 5 7 ) . Now c r e a t i o n i s s e t i n m o t i o n : "The F o u n t a i n b e n e a t h t h e H a z e l i s b r o k e n . C r e a -t i o n i s a s t i r . The Many a r e p r o c e e d i n g from t h e One." T h e r e i s much h e r e t h a t needs e m p h a s i z i n g and c l a r i f y i n g i n v i e w of Y e a t s ' s own use of t h e s e f i g u r e s and images. F i r s t 2 3 Note t h e r e s e m b l a n c e t o Y e a t s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e end of t h e w o r l d f o r w h i c h F o r g a e l i s h e a d i n g , w h i c h c o n s t i -t u t e s t h e "one s i n g l e i d e a " upon w h i c h h i s r e v i s e d p l a y w i l l r e v o l v e (_L 4 5 4 ) : 'When t h e w o r l d ends The mind i s made u n c h a n g i n g f o r i t f i n d s M i r a c l e , e c s t a c y , t h e i m p o s s i b l e j o y , The f l a g s t o n e under a l l , t h e f i r e of f i r e s , The r o o t o f t h e w o r l d . ' The r e s e m b l a n c e t o Y e a t s ' s Four P r i n c i p l e s i s a l s o w o r t h n o t i n g . 77 of a l l , i t seems t h a t Manannan and Aengus a r e much more i m p o r t a n t t h a n t h e i r r o l e i n p o p u l a r I r i s h l e g e n d s — t h e l e g e n d s most used by c r i t i c s t o i l l u m i n a t e Y e a t s ' s use o f t h e s e g o d s — w o u l d l e a d us t o b e l i e v e . AE p o i n t s out t h i s seeming d i s p a r i t y and e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e two images of t h e s e gods as t h e c r e a t i v e powers of t h e u n i v e r s e and as l e s s e r gods of t h e S i d h e a r e i n d e e d c o n n e c t e d , " f o r i n t h e m y s t e r i e s o f D r u i d s a l l t h e gods s e n t b r i g h t w i t n e s s e s of t h e i r b o u n d l e s s b e i n g , who s a t e n t h r o n e d i n t h e p a l a c e s of t h e S i d h e . . . " ( C a n d l e 1 5 9 ) . Manannan, i n AE's d e s c r i p t i o n , i s u n i q u e and s e t a p a r t from a l l o t h e r gods, f o r he " a l o n e of a l l t h e gods e x i s t s i n t h e i n n e r s i d e " ( C a n d l e 156) of Dana, t h e S p i r i t of N a t u r e . Y e a t s ' s d e p i c t i o n of Manannan i n t h e p l a y s i s t h e r e -f o r e g i v e n more b a s i s i n t r a d i t i o n . Manannan's i m p o r t a n t r o l e d u r i n g c r e a t i o n i s h i n t e d a t i n The W a n d e r i n g s o f O i s i n , where he i s r e f e r r e d to as t h e god who b u i l t t h e now c r u m b l i n g p a l a c e i n t h e s e c o n d i s l a n d ( t h e i s l a n d o f n e v e r - e n d i n g b a t t l e ) " w i t h c a p t i v e demons s e n t / Out o f t h e s e v e n f o l d s e a s " ( t h e s e v e n s t r e a m s w h i c h i s s u e d f r o m t h e f o u n t a i n o f c r e a t i o n ) (VE_ 3 8 ) . In an e a r l y v e r s i o n of The O n l y J e a l o u s y o f Emer, Manannan a p p e a r s b r i e f l y as an i m p a s s i v e , shadowy f i g u r e f r o m t h e C o u n t r y -Under-Wave, who p l a y s c h e s s as he r u l e s o v e r t h e d e s t i n i e s of b o t h men and gods. Fand o r d e r s f i r s t C u c h u l a i n and t h e n 78 B r i c r i u to " s t a n d b e f o r e our K i n g and f a c e t h e c h a r g e / And t a k e t h e p u n i s h m e n t " (VP1 561). In h i s r e p l y , B r i c r i u a c k n o w l e d g e s t h a t Manannan has d e t e r m i n e d h i s l i f e : ' I ' l l s t a n d t h e r e f i r s t , And t e l l my s t o r y f i r s t ; and Mananan Knows t h a t h i s own h a r s h sea made my h e a r t c o l d . ' In The Green Helmet, Manannan once a g a i n p e r s o n i f i e s f a t e , p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e Y e a t s i m p l i e s t h a t i t i s he who has a p p e a r e d i n t h e g u i s e o f t h e Red Man and tampered u n m e r c i -f u l l y w i t h t h e minds and l i v e s of C u c h u l a i n ' s p e o p l e i n o r d e r to t e s t I r e l a n d , and s p e c i f i c a l l y to t e s t , and t h e n r e w a r d , the c o u r a g e of i t s b r a v e s t man, C u c h u l a i n (VP1 4 5 3 ) . Aengus i s a l s o much more t h a n m e r e l y " t h e g o l d e n - h a i r e d Angus of the b a r d s " ( C a n d l e 1 5 9 ) , e x p l a i n s AE; he i s "an a l l - p e r v a d i n g d i v i n i t y who f i r s t c o n n e c t s b e i n g w i t h non-b e i n g " and as s u c h f i g u r e s p r o m i n e n t l y , as we have s e e n , as t h e r u l e r of t h e kingdom of t h e T u a t h a de Danaan i n s u c h works as The Shadowy W a t e r s , The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n , The  C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n and The K i n g of t h e G r e a t C l o c k Tower. However, AE i d e n t i f i e s Aengus v e r y c l e a r l y not o n l y w i t h d i v i n e l o v e or j o y , but a l s o w i t h t h e e t e r n a l d e s i r e w h i c h i s t h e r e f l e c t i o n of d i v i n e l o v e i n a f a l l e n w o r l d , t h u s e c h o i n g Y e a t s ' s own d u a l d e p i c t i o n o f him i n t h e p l a y s . I t i s Angus t h e Young, an e t e r n a l j o y b ecoming l o v e , a l o v e c h a n g i n g i n t o d e s i r e , and l e a d i n g onto e a r t h l y p a s s i o n and f o r g e t f u l n e s s of i t s own d i v i n i t y . The e t e r n a l j o y becomes l o v e when i t has f i r s t merged i t s e l f i n f o r m and images of 79 a d i v i n e b e a u t y dance b e f o r e i t and l u r e i t a f a r . T h i s i s t h e f i r s t m a n i f e s t e d w o r l d , t h e T i r n a n o g e or Wo r l d of Immortal Y o u t h . The l o v e i s changed i n t o d e s i r e as i t i s drawn d e e p e r i n t o n a t u r e , and t h i s d e s i r e b u i l d s up t h e M i d - W o r l d or W orld of t h e W a t e r s . And, l a s t l y , as i t l a y s h o l d of t h e e a r t h l y symbol of i t s d e s i r e i t becomes on E a r t h t h a t p a s s i o n w h i c h i s s p i r i t u a l d e a t h . ( C a n d l e 157-8) Here i n c a p s u l e form i s Y e a t s ' s own t h e o r y of e x i s t e n c e w i t h i n c r e a t i o n : t h e s p i r i t f o r g e t s i t s own d i v i n i t y and j o u r n e y s down t h e h i e r a r c h y o f b e i n g i n p u r s u i t of f a l s e o b j e c t s of d e s i r e . Y e a t s ' s p l a y s a r e f i l l e d w i t h t h e s e o b j e c t s - o f d e s i r e , many o f w h i c h t a k e the. form of " d i v i n e b e a u t y " ; i m m o r t a l women, from t h e W i t c h V i v i e n i n one of the e a r l i e s t p l a y s , t o Niamh i n O i s i n , t o t h e Hawk woman, to Fand, a l l l u r e m o r t a l men w i t h a p r o m i s e t h e y c a n n o t f u l f i l . T h e se f a l s e o b j e c t s of d e s i r e a r e p e r h a p s most c o n s p i c u o u s i n The Shadowy Waters and The Wa n d e r i n g s o f O i s i n , where "shadows of u n a p p e a s a b l e d e s i r e , " i n t h e form of t h e hound w i t h one r e d e a r c h a s i n g t h e h o r n l e s s d e e r , o r t h e young man c h a s i n g t h e g i r l w i t h t h e g o l d e n a p p l e i n h e r hand, a r e c e n t r a l s y m b o l s . These shadows a p p e a r e d a t c r e a t i o n , s a y s t h e F o m o r i a n god T e t h r a , and c o n s t i t u t e one of t h e two g r e a t s o r r o w s he s u f f e r e d t h e n ( t h e o t h e r b e i n g h i s e j e c t i o n f r o m p a r a d i s e ) ; t h e y " s i g n a l t h e b e g i n n i n g of f r u s t r a t i o n and d e l u s i o n " ( E d i t o r s , DrC 2 0 ) . When F o r g a e l c r i e s , " g r a n t / me ... an h o u r s / r e f u g e from my own s p i r i t t h a t e v e r / 80 p u r s u e s " (DrC 5 5 ) , T e t h r a sends him D e c t o r a , but she t o o , as even F o r g a e l r e a l i z e s , i s o n l y one of t h e s e images: I am h e a r d T e t h r a has b i d a s i g n wake i n t h e s h i e l d The shadows t h a t b e f o r e t h e w o r l d began Made him bow down upon h i s t h r o n e and weep And t h a t a r e i n t h e w a t e r s and t h e winds a l w a y s The shadows of u n a p p e a s a b l e d e s i r e , A boy t h a t f o l l o w s upon f l y i n g f e e t A g i r l t h a t has an a p p l e i n h e r hand; And I am b l i n d e d by a foam of dreams. (TPBS 10-11) T h i s p u r s u i t i s u l t i m a t e l y t h e d e s i r e f o r t h e t r u e o p p o s i t e , t h e S e l f f r o m w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t has been s e p a r a t e d by c r e a t i o n . The f o u n t a i n of c r e a t i o n at t h e f o o t o f t h e S a c r e d H a z e l , a symbol AE makes much of i n h i s book, o c c u r s i n v a r i o u s g u i s e s i n q u i t e a number of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s . At c r e a -t i o n , w r i t e s AE, t h e S a c r e d H a z e l a p p e a r s , whose b r a n c h e s a r e t h e gods, "and as t h e m y s t i c n i g h t t r e m b l e s i n t o dawn, i t s l e a v e s and b l o s s o m s and i t s s t a r r y f r u i t [ a l l s p i r i t s ] b u r -geon s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and a r e shed o v e r t h e w a t e r s of s p a c e " 2 5 ( C a n d l e 1 5 4 ) . AE i d e n t i f i e s t h i s f o u n t a i n as C o n n l a ' s W e l l of C e l t i c l e g e n d . The " w a t e r s of s p a c e " a r e c t h e s e v e n -s t r e a m s i n t h e g a r d e n of Eden w h i c h Y e a t s a l s o r e f e r s t o , and what Mme B l a v a t s k y c a l l s " t h e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of t h e 'Germ' L i f e much of of i J T h i s i s K a b b a l a s t i c i n h i s work a n o t h e r way of d e s c r i b i n g t h e T r e e of and M a g i c a l t r a d i t i o n s w h i c h Y e a t s made 81 [Manannan] of t h e U n i v e r s e " at c r e a t i o n i n t o t h e s e p t e n a r y h i e r a r c h y of c o n s c i o u s D i v i n e powers, who a r e t h e a c t i v e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of t h e One Supreme E n e r g y . They a r e t h e f r a m e r s , s h a p e r s , and u l t i m a t e l y t h e c r e a t o r s of a l l t h e m a n i f e s t e d U n i v e r s e . . . . ^ 6 The d e s c r i p t i o n o f c r e a t i o n as a s t r e a m o f w a t e r f l o w i n g f r o m t h e One i s fo u n d a l s o i n P l o t i n u s ; R i s t n o t e s t h a t , we f i n d among t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s of t h e One t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t i t i s l i k e a s p r i n g w h i c h not o n l y n e v e r r u n s d r y but a l w a y s r e m a i n s e x a c t l y as i t was d e s p i t e t h e s t r e a m of water t h a t e t e r n a l l y f l o w s f r o m i t . ^ ' 7 F o u n t a i n s and s t r e a m s a r e r e f e r r e d t o o f t e n by Y e a t s , and q u i t e c o n s c i o u s l y , i f h i s d i s c u s s i o n of W i l l i a m M o r r i s ' s use of s i m i l a r symbols i s any i n d i c a t i o n : I do not t h i n k t h a t i t was a c c i d e n t ... t h a t made W i l l i a m M o r r i s ... c e l e b r a t e t h e G r e e n T r e e and th e goddess H a b u n d i a n , and w e l l s and e n c h a n t e d w a t e r s i n so many bo o k s . I n The W e l l a t t h e  Wo r i d ' s End g r e e n t r e e s and e n c h a n t e d w a t e r s a r e shown t o us as t h e y a r e u n d e r s t o o d by o l d w r i t e r s , who t h o u g h t t h a t t h e g e n e r a t i o n of a l l t h i n g s was t h r o u g h w a t e r . . . . (E & I 54) A w e l l or f o u n t a i n as t h e s o u r c e of c r e a t i o n a p p e a r s i n s e v e r a l p l a y s , s u c h as The K i n g ' s T h r e s h o l d , where i t i s s p e c i f i c a l l y l o c a t e d i n t h e g a r d e n o f Eden a t t h e f o o t of " o l d Adam's c r a b - t r e e " (VP1 303) and On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d , where The S e c r e t D o c t r i n e , pp. 21-2. ^ J R i s t , P l o t i n u s , p. 26. 82 C u c h u l a i n uses t h i s symbol to expound on t h e t h e o r y t h a t t h e s p i r i t weakens as i t t r a v e l s f u r t h e r away from c r e a t i o n : I f I had f o u g h t my f a t h e r , he'd have k i l l e d me, As c e r t a i n l y as i f I had a son And f o u g h t w i t h him I s h o u l d be d e a d l y to him; F o r t h e o l d f i e r y f o u n t a i n s a r e f a r o f f And e v e r y day t h e r e i s l e s s h e a t o' t h e b l o o d . (VP1 511) As o f t e n as n o t , however, t h e s e symbols a r e used i n r e f e r e n c e t o t h e end r a t h e r t h a n t h e b e g i n n i n g of c r e a t i o n , when the s e v e n s t r e a m s w i l l r e t u r n t o t h e i r s o u r c e , and as such a r e i m p o r t a n t symbols of t h e s e e k e r s ' q u e s t i n t h e p l a y s . F o r g a e l i s s e e k i n g t h e i s l a n d where t h e l i f e of t h e w o r l d Leaps upward, as i f a l l t h e s t r e a m s o' t h e w o r l d Had r u n i n t o one f o u n t a i n . (CP 4 97) At t h e end o f a n o t h e r v e r s i o n he announces t h a t our s a i l has p a s s e d Even t h e w a n d e r i n g i s l a n d s of the gods And h e a r s t h e r o a r of t h o s e s t r e a m s where d r u i d s s ay Time and t h e w o r l d and a l l t h i n g s d w i n d l e o u t . (DrC 28 5) Seanchan, i n The K i n g ' s T h r e s h o l d , has v a r i o u s v i s i o n s of t h e g a r d e n of Eden as he n e a r s d e a t h , and f i n a l l y l i e s down t o a w a i t d e a t h , r o l l e d up under t h e r a g g e d t h o r n s T h a t a r e upon t h e edge of t h o s e g r e a t w a t e r s Where a l l t h i n g s v a n i s h away. (VP1 287) The Wise Man i n The H o u r - G l a s s , t h o u g h more r e l u c t a n t t o l e a v e t h i s w o r l d , r e a l i z e s t h a t he too w i l l soon d i e , s a y i n g , 83 The s t r e a m of t h e w o r l d has changed i t s c o u r s e , And w i t h t h e s t r e a m my t h o u g h t s have r u n I n t o some c l o u d y t h u n d e r o u s s p r i n g T hat i s i t s m o u n t a i n s o u r c e (VP1 637) A n o t h e r , t h o u g h more o b s c u r e , v a r i a t i o n of t h i s symbol o c c u r s i n The U n i c o r n from t h e S t a r s , where t h e d y i n g M a r t i n l o n g s t o c l i m b t h e m o u n t a i n of A b i e g n o s , w h i c h i n R o s i c r u c i a n l o r e i s t h e f l a t - t o p p e d m o u n t a i n at t h e c e n t r e of t h e w o r l d on w h i c h i s f o u n d " t h e g r e a t w a l l e d g a r d e n of Eden" , " I t i s a h a r d c l i m b , " s a y s M a r t i n , " H e l p me up. I must go on. The M o u n t a i n of A b i e g n o s i s v e r y h i g h . . . . " (VP1 7 1 0 ) . In y e t a n o t h e r v a r i a t i o n , t h e w e l l becomes " S t . Colman's w e l l , " t h e " b l e s s e d w e l l " of t h e D r u i d s , where men, s e e k i n g to f i n d p h y s i c a l h e a l t h , may i n s t e a d f i n d s p i r i t u a l p e r f e c -t i o n , as i n The Cat and t h e Moon, or where men seek i m m o r t a l -i t y , as i n At t h e Hawk's W e l l . I t i s c e r t a i n t h a t a l l t h e s e w e l l s and f o u n t a i n s a r e c o n n e c t e d . In the v e r y e a r l y p l a y Time and t h e W i t c h V i v i e n , f o r example, th e f o u n t a i n p l a y s two r o l e s , f i r s t as t h e f o u n t a i n of y o u t h i n w h i c h V i v i e n , who l o n g s to h o l d o n t o l i f e , b e a u t y and power, gazes a t h e r -s e l f , ' and t h e n as a symbol o f h e r d e a t h , s i n c e i t i s h e a r d b u b b l i n g i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d as she l o s e s t h e game of c h a n c e she has been p l a y i n g and d i e s (VP1 1279). The w e l l i n At t h e 9 8 V. Moore, U n i c o r n , p. 208 84 Hawk's W e l l i s c l e a r l y C o n n l a ' s W e l l o f c r e a t i o n m y t h s ; " t h a t C u c h u l a i n , l i k e F o r g a e l , i s s e e k i n g f o r p e r f e c t i o n o u t -s i d e t i m e r a t h e r t h a n f o r i m m o r t a l i t y w i t h i n i t i s more t h a n p l a u s i b l e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n v i e w of h i s s u b s e q u e n t a t t e m p t t o e s c a p e t h e c o n f i n e s o f t h i s w o r l d w h i c h i s d r a m a t i z e d i n The  Only J e a l o u s y of Emer. IV. The Many The f o u n t a i n b e n e a t h t h e H a z e l has b r o k e n . C r e a t i o n i s a s t i r . The Many a r e p r o c e e d i n g from t h e One. An e n e r g y or l o v e or e t e r n a l d e s i r e has gone f o r t h w h i c h s e e k s t h r o u g h a m y r i a d forms of i l l u s i o n f o r t h e i n f i n i t e b e i n g i t has l e f t . (The C a n d l e of V i s i o n 157) At c r e a t i o n , t h e n , i n n u m e r a b l e b e i n g s emerge from t h e o r i g i n a l Godhead. T h e s e b e i n g s a r e a l l e q u a l ; t h e y a r e a l s o u n i q u e , as Y e a t s s t r e s s e d r e p e a t e d l y i n h i s w r i t i n g . W i t h words a l m o s t i d e n t i c a l t o t h o s e w h i s p e r e d t o M i c h a e l by t h e a n g e l s i n The S p e c k l e d B i r d (32), C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n On a l e t t e r to h e r from W. B. Y e a t s r e f e r r i n g t o t h e v i s i o n s of C o n n l a ' s W e l l t h a t t h e y e x p e r i e n c e d t o g e t h e r , t h e c l a i r v o y a n t e Mrs. H u n t e r n o t e s t h a t "The magic w e l l of C o n n l a l i e s a t t h e f o o t of a m o u n t a i n of a s h . Those who gaze t h e r e i n may, i f t h e y can f i n d a g u i d e , be l e d t o t h e Fount of P e r p e t u a l Y o u t h . The ash b e r r i e s f a l l i n t o t h e w a t e r s and t u r n them t o f i r e . C o n n l a , the D r u i d , i s t h e G u a r d i a n of t h e W e l l . " P r i n t e d i n L e t t e r s , pp. 293-4 . 85 af f i r m s t h a t , T h e r e i s no s o u l But i t ' s u n l i k e a l l o t h e r s i n t h e w o r l d Nor one but l i f t s a s t r a n g e n e s s t o God's l o v e , T i l l t h a t ' s grown i n f i n i t e , and t h e r e f o r e none Whose l o s s were l e s s t h a n i r r e m e d i a b l e A l t h o u g h i t were t h e w i c k e d e s t i n t h e w o r l d . (VP1 69-71) Though a l l emanate from t h e One, t h e s e s p i r i t s f o r g e t t h e i r d i v i n i t y as t h e y j o u r n e y f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r away t h r o u g h c r e a t i o n , becoming l e s s e r and l e s s e r s p i r i t s u n t i l , f i n a l l y , t h e y f o r g e t t h e i r d i v i n i t y e n t i r e l y and i d e n t i f y t h e m s e l v e s c o m p l e t e l y w i t h t h e human body. Each s p i r i t u n d e r t a k e s i t s s e a r c h a l o n e , and p r o g r e s s e s at i t s own pace t h r o u g h t h e cosmos, so t h a t t h e cosmos becomes p o p u l a t e d by an e l a b o r a t e h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g s r a n g i n g from t h e One t o man. Mme B l a v a t s k y s t a t e s t h i s t h e o r y v e r y s u c c i n c t l y . The whole Kosmos i s g u i d e d , c o n t r o l l e d and a n i -mated by a l m o s t e n d l e s s s e r i e s o f H i e r a r c h i e s of s e n t i e n t B e i n g s , each h a v i n g a m i s s i o n to p e r f o r m . They v a r y i n f i n i t e l y i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e d e g r e e s of c o n s c i o u s n e s s and i n t e l l i g e n c e ; and to c a l l them a l l p u r e S p i r i t s i s o n l y t o i n d u l g e i n p o e t i c a l f a n c y . E a c h of t h e s e B e i n g s e i t h e r was, or p r e p a r e s t o become, a man, i f not i n t h e p r e s -e n t , t h e n i n a p a s t or coming c y c l e . 3 0 S p i r i t s on v a r i o u s l e v e l s can be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d by t h e d e g r e e of m a t e r i a l i t y w h i c h t h e y have a c h i e v e d , f o r t h e j o u r n e y Mme B l a v a t s k y , The S e c r e t D o c t r i n e , pp. 274-5. 86 downward to h u m a n i t y i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a g r a d u a l a c q u i s i -t i o n by t h e s p i r i t of more and more l a y e r s . The s p i r i t a c q u i r e s t h e most l a y e r s when i t becomes human, f o r i t a d o p t s not o n l y t h e g r o s s e s t o f m a t e r i a l forms but a l s o a p e r s o n a l i t y w h i c h b l i n d s i t to i t s d i v i n e n a t u r e . The s o u l c l i n g s to i t s new a c q u i s i t i o n s , but i t c a n n o t b e g i n t h e j o u r n e y upward u n t i l i t i s w i l l i n g t o shed them, to l e t them go, as P a u l R u t t l e d g e t e a c h e s i n Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g . T h i s i s what Y e a t s c o n s i d e r e d p h y s i c a l d e a t h t o be, m e r e l y a d i s c a r d i n g of t h e f o r m , p e r s o n a l i t y and memories of t h i s l i f e i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r s u c c e e d i n g l i v e s . The m a g i c i a n Dunn/MacLagan i n The S p e c k l e d B i r d e l a b o r a t e s on t h i s c o n c e p t when he s a y s t h a t t h e p h y s i c a l body grows h e a l t h i e r as t h e s p i r i t weakens, but grows weaker as t h e s p i r i t g e t s s t r o n g e r — t h u s t h e s p i r i t r e g a i n s i t s c o m p l e t e s t r e n g t h at d e a t h . ... t h e more we d i e h e r e , t h e more we l o s e what makes up l i f e , t h e [?] n e a r e r we come t o them [ d i s e m b o d i e d s p i r i t s ] , and ... when t h e y d e s c e n d to us and a r e b o r n , t h e y d i e i n t h e i r own w o r l d . When one t h i n k s d e e p l y about s p i r i t u a l t h i n g s , and b r i n g s them n e a r to one by a c c u s t o m i n g [?] t h e mind's eye t o see them and t h e mind's e a r to h e a r them, one b e g i n s [?] an e v o c a t i o n of t h e l i f e t h a t p r o p h e c i e s away from t h i s l i f e , n o t o n l y i n t h e mind, but i n t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s of l i f e . The c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f l i f e a r e m e r e l y t h o u g h t .... (The S p e c k l e d B i r d 209) T h i s w o r l d , b e i n g b ut a t h o u g h t , i s not r e a l . In Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h y none of t h e l e v e l s o f e x i s t e n c e a t w h i c h t h e 87 s p i r i t f i n d s i t s e l f a r e r e a l — n o t h i n g i s r e a l s a v e t h e s p h e r e A l l l e v e l s of b e i n g a r e no more t h a n " m y r i a d forms of i l l u -s i o n , " no more r e a l t h a n t h e o b j e c t s of d e s i r e w h i c h t h e s p i r i t p u r s u e s from one e x i s t e n c e t o a n o t h e r . As Y e a t s w r o t e i n h i s Memo i r s, A v i s i o n a r y woman once s a i d to me i ' I f we c o u l d o n l y say t o o u r s e l v e s , w i t h s i n c e r i t y , " T h i s p a s s -i n g moment i s as good as any I s h a l l e v e r know," we would p e r i s h i n s t a n t l y or become u n i t e d to God.' I suppose b e c a u s e d e s i r e would 'be at an end. (Memoirs 210) N e v e r t h e l e s s , most s p i r i t s p u r s u e t h i s o b j e c t f i r s t i n one form, t h e n a n o t h e r , t h r o u g h one e x i s t e n c e , t h e n a n o t h e r , not r e a l i z i n g t h a t what t h e y a r e s e e k i n g i s t h e i r H i g h e r S e l f , and t h a t i t i s w i t h i n them. But more of t h i s l a t e r . Y e a t s b e l i e v e d , w i t h Swedenborg, t h a t each l e v e l of b e i n g melds w i t h t h e n e x t "as though a hand were t h r u s t w i t h i n a h u n d r e d g l o v e s , one g l o v e o u t s i d e a n o t h e r , and so t h e r e i s a c o n t i n u a l i n f l u x f r o m God t o man" (VB I I 3 1 6 ) . Such a complex h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g i s v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e to c a t a l o g u e , p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e Y e a t s embraced i n h i s p h i l o s -ophy a l l t h e w o r l d s d e s c r i b e d by p h i l o s o p h e r s , v i s i o n a r i e s and m a g i c i a n s , by Thomas More, Swedenborg, Da n t e , B l a k e , AE, I r i s h p e a s a n t s , a l l r e l i g i o u s t e x t s and t h e m u l t i f a r i o u s m a g i c a l t e x t s t u r n i n g up i n E n g l a n d at t h a t t i m e . Some of t h e s e t e x t s , s u c h as The Key of Solomon, w h i c h was t r a n s -l a t e d by MacGregor M a t h e r s f o r use by t h e G o l d e n Dawn, d i d 88 i n f a c t a t t e m p t to name and d e s c r i b e a l l t h e d i f f e r e n t t y p e s of gods, demons and s p i r i t s , and make f o r h i g h l y e n t e r t a i n i n g r e a d i n g . As E. M. B u t l e r w r i t e s of The Key of Solomon i n h i s s t u d y , R i t u a l M a g i c , t h e a u t h o r ' s " h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d a l t h o u g h v e r y c o n f u s e d a n g e l o l o g y seems n o t u n l i k e an a t t e m p t t o t a b u l a t e and d e s c r i b e t h e t e n t h o u s a n d t i m e s t e n t h o u s a n d 31 and t h o u s a n d s of t h o u s a n d s i n R e v e l a t i o n s . " " 1 N e v e r t h e l e s s , s i n c e many of t h e s e l e v e l s a r e r e p r e s e n t e d i n Y e a t s ' s drama, some a t t e m p t must be made t o s o r t them o u t . Y e a t s was drawn t o t h e p t o l e m a i c c o s mology as a metaphor f o r t h e u n i v e r s e , and r e f e r r e d to i t i n a number of p l a y s , n o t a b l y i n Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g , The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n (where t h e d e v i l s c l a i m to be from t h e n i n t h , and t h e r e f o r e t h e h i g h e s t , s p h e r e o f h e l l ) , and The Land of H e a r t ' s D e s i r e . T h i s t h e o r y , w h i c h d i v i d e s t h e cosmos i n t o n i n e c o n c e n t r i c c r y s t a l l i n e s p h e r e s , beyond w h i c h l i e s n o t h i n g , o r God, i s a u s e f u l t o o l f o r e n v i s a g i n g Y e a t s ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e o r d e r of b e i n g w i t h i n t h e cosmos. T h i s w o r l d v i e w was a d o p t e d by t h e W e s t e r n m a g i c a l t r a d i t i o n , and i s d e s c r i b e d by R. C a v e n d i s h i n h i s book, The B l a c k A r t s: In t h e e a r l y c e n t u r i e s a f t e r C h r i s t t h e i d e a s p r e a d t h r o u g h t h e M e d i t e r r a n e a n w o r l d t h a t t h e s o u l comes o r i g i n a l l y f r o m God and d e s c e n d s t h r o u g h t h e n i n e s p h e r e s t o e a r t h , where i t i s 3 1 E . M. B u t l e r , R i t u a l M a g i c (Cambridge at t h e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1949), p. 77. 89 i m p r i s o n e d i n t h e human body: The s o u l l o n g s f o r r e u n i o n w i t h God and can a c h i e v e i t by c l i m b i n g back up t h r o u g h t h e s p h e r e s to h e a v e n . ^ ^  Y e a t s e l a b o r a t e s on t h i s c osmology i n h i s s h o r t s t o r y "Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g " : 'There a r e n i n e c r y s t a l l i n e s p h e r e s , and on t h e f i r s t t h e Moon i s f a s t e n e d , on t h e s e c o n d t h e p l a n e t M e r c u r y , on t h e t h i r d t h e p l a n e t Venus, on t h e f o u r t h t h e Sun, on t h e f i f t h t h e p l a n e t Mars, on t h e s i x t h t h e p l a n e t J u p i t e r , on t h e s e v e n t h t h e p l a n e t S a t u r n ; t h e s e a r e t h e w a n d e r i n g s t a r s ; and on t h e e i g h t h a r e f a s t e n e d t h e f i x e d s t a r s ; but t h e n i n t h s p h e r e i s a s p h e r e of t h e s u b s t a n c e on w h i c h t h e b r e a t h of God moved i n t h e b e g i n n i n g . ' 'What i s beyond t h a t ? ' s a i d t h e c h i l d . 'There i s n o t h i n g beyond t h a t ; t h e r e i s God.' (M 184-5) N o t h i n g , or God, i s , i n P o r p h y r y ' s t e r m s , " n o t - b e i n g 3 3 ' beyond B e i n g . " I t i s t h e unknowable P h a s e l e s s s p h e r e of A V i s i o n , and as s u c h i s r e f e r r e d t o , but does not a p p e a r , i n t h e p l a y s . I n t h e n i n t h s p h e r e , "The s u b s t a n c e on w h i c h t h e b r e a t h of God moved i n t h e b e g i n n i n g , " w h i c h can be e q u a t e d w i t h t h e F i r s t P r i n c i p l e o r the One, can be p l a c e d Dana or Danu who, though she i s r e f e r r e d t o as t h e mother of t h e gods, does not a p p e a r i n t h e p l a y s , and Manannan who, as R i c h a r d C a v e n d i s h , The B l a c k A r t s (London: R o u t l e d g e & Kegan P a u l , 1967), pp. 100-1. R i s t , P l o t i n u s , p. 29. 90 t h e shadowy p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f f a t e , d o e s . O t h e r r e p r e s e n t -a t i v e s o f f a t e i n t h e p l a y s r a n g e from t h e C h r i s t i a n God, the " L i g h t of L i g h t s " i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n and i n C a l v a r y , t o feasts l i k e t h e U n i c o r n and t h e G r e a t H e m e . Y e a t s d e l i b e r a t e l y l i n k e d t h e l a t t e r two f i g u r e s t o Zeus t h r o u g h t h e l e g e n d o f Leda and t h e swan; t h e U n i c o r n i s see n b e g e t t i n g w i t h t h e queen i n some v e r s i o n s of The P l a y e r  Queen w h i l e , i n The H e m e ' s Egg, t h e H e m e has s e x u a l r e l a -t i o n s w i t h h i s p r i e s t e s s , t h o u g h he us e s f o r t h i s p u r p o s e t h e b o d i e s o f s e v e n men, who m i s t a k e n l y assume t h a t t h e y a r e 3 4 t a m p e r i n g w i t h h i s d i v i n e p l a n by r a p i n g t h e p r i e s t e s s . The p l a y i s , i n f a c t , a bad j o k e p l a y e d on t h e men, and p a r t i c u l a r l y on C o n g a l , by f a t e , or t h e e l u s i v e G r e a t H e m e . The e i g h t h s p h e r e i s t h e s p h e r e of t h e " f i x e d s t a r s " ; " t h e F i x e d S t a r s b e i n g t h e l e a s t c h a n g i n g t h i n g s a r e t h e a c t s of w h a t e v e r i n t h a t s t r e a m [of s o u l s w h i c h r e p r e s e n t r e a l i t y f o r Y e a t s ] changes l e a s t , and t h e r e f o r e of a l l s o u l s t h a t have f o u n d an a l m o s t c h a n g e l e s s r e s t " (AV (A) 1 5 8 ) . Here can be p l a c e d t h e p e r f e c t e d community of s p i r i t s of w h i c h Y e a t s s p e a k s i n h i s "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s . " As we have s e e n , H e l e n V e n d l e r m i s u n d e r s t a n d s t h i s p o i n t when she w r i t e s t h a t i n The H e m e ' s Egg "The O t h e r w o r l d i s b o t h omni-p o t e n t ( t h e G r e a t H e m e ' s c u r s e s a r e d e a d l y ) and a b s u r d - -A t t r a c t a i s r a p e d by s e v e n men, but on t h e m o r n i n g a f t e r s e r e n e l y a s s e r t s t h a t i t n e v e r happened, t h a t t h e r e i s no r e a l i t y b u t t h e G r e a t Heme," i n Y e a t s ' s " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s f o r t h e O t h e r w o r l d , " MD, V I I ( 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 319. 91 Y e a t s o f t e n d e s c r i b e d t h e p a r a d i s e f o r w h i c h men l o n g not as an u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d u n i t y or c h a o s , b u t as t h e u n i t y - i n -m u l t i p l i c i t y ( c o n c o r d ) w h i c h t h e s e s p i r i t s have a c h i e v e d . T h i s community, or "h e a v e n , " a p p e a r s i n many g u i s e s i n t h e drama, but i t i s u s u a l l y d e s c r i b e d w i t h images of l i g h t and f i r e ; i t i s t h e w o r l d o f " b e w i l d e r i n g l i g h t s " w h i c h i s b o t h t h e F a e r y Kingdom i n The Land of H e a r t ' s D e s i r e and t h e k i n g -dom of L i g h t o f t h e T u a t h a de Danaan (DrC 8 1 ) . Th a t Aengus and the Danaans s h o u l d t h u s be s e p a r a t e d from t h e r e s t of t h e gods, t h e w a n d e r i n g s t a r s , and be one s t e p c l o s e r to t h e n i n t h s p h e r e i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e s i n c e Aengus i s t h e " d i v i n i t y who f i r s t c o n n e c t s b e i n g w i t h n o n - b e i n g " (The  C a n d l e of V i s i o n 1 59). S h o r t l y b e f o r e h i s d e a t h , the Wise Man i n The H o u r - G l a s s s t a t e s t h a t "The sand has r u n o u t . . . . F o r I am g o i n g from t h e c o u n t r y of t h e s e v e n w a n d e r i n g s t a r s , and g o i n g to t h e c o u n t r y of t h e f i x e d s t a r s " (VP1 6 3 6 ) . The w a n d e r i n g s t a r s , t h e n e x t s i x s p h e r e s ( e x c l u d i n g f o r the moment t h e f i r s t s p h e r e , t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d ) , n a t u r a l l y 3 5 i n c l u d e a g r e a t v a r i e t y of s p i r i t s , b o t h good and e v i l , s i n c e f o r Y e a t s t h e l e v e l s of s p i r i t s become t h i c k e r c l o s e r to e a r t h . Y e a t s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e s e s p i r i t s , r a n g i n g from The same s p i r i t w i l l be b o t h good, and e v i l a t some p o i n t , as T e t h r a d e c l a r e s , a n n o u n c i n g t h a t F o r g a e l " s h a l l be a d e s t r o y i n g demon a t h o u s a n d ages and t h e n t a k e on a shape of l i g h t " (TPBS 4 9 ) . 92 t h e l o w l i e s t shades to t h e t e a c h i n g s p i r i t s and g u i d e s of t h e u n i v e r s e , a r e s p i r i t s i n one or a n o t h e r phase between human i n c a r n a t i o n s , t h a t i s between d e a t h and b i r t h . T h i s i s t h e t h e s i s of t h e " S o u l i n Judgment" c h a p t e r of A V i s i o n , i n w h i c h Y e a t s a r g u e s t h a t each s o u l i n between human i n c a r n a -t i o n s goes t h r o u g h s i x d i f f e r e n t s t a g e s i n o r d e r t o shed t h e memories of one human l i f e and p r e p a r e f o r t h e n e x t . I n t h e f i r s t f o u r s t a t e s a r e t o be f o u n d a l l manner o f g h o s t s and shades s u c h as t h o s e who a p p e a r t o t h e mediums i n The Words  Upon the Window-Pane, to t h e Young Man i n The Dreaming of t h e  Bones and t o t h e O l d Man i n P u r g a t o r y . Once p a s t t h e s e f o u r p h a s e s , t h e s p i r i t s a r e f r e e d of t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e p a s t . They may r e m a i n i n t h e f i f t h phase f o r c e n t u r i e s , w i t h no s e t i d e n t i t y of t h e i r own, and t a k e on v a r i o u s r o l e s , as " g u a r d i a n s of w e l l s or t e m p l e s " (AV (B) 233) s u c h as t h e Hawk woman i n At t h e Hawk's W e l l , or as t e a c h i n g or g u i d i n g s p i r i t s , s uch as B r i c r i u becomes f o r Emer i n The O n l y  J e a l o u s y of Emer, and t h e M o r r i g u f o r C u c h u l a i n i n The D e a t h  of C u c h u l a i n ; t h e y a r e a l s o t h e I r i s h f a i r i e s or t h e S i d h e , t h e " s h a p e - c h a n g e r s o f l e g e n d , " as Y e a t s c a l l s them i n A 3 6 V i s i o n , who a p p e a r i n a number o f t h e p l a y s . In t h e s i x t h 3 6 T h i s l i n k between t h e s o u l s o f t h e dead and t h e f a i r i e s i s made i m p l i c i t l y i n A V i s i o n ; i t i s e x p l i c i t i n Evan Wentz's The F a i r y - F a i t h i n C e l t i c C o u n t r i e s , (London: O x f o r d U. P r e s s , 1911), a book w h i c h , as K a t h l e e n R a i n e has n o t e d , was i n l a r g e p a r t b a s e d on e v i d e n c e p r o v i d e d by Y e a t s W r i t e s Wentz, " F a i r y l a n d i s a s t a t e or c o n d i t i o n , r e a l m or 93 phase, t h e y must p r e p a r e t h e m s e l v e s to r e - e n t e r t h e w o r l d and adopt a new p e r s o n a l i t y , and t h e y may t r y t o tamper w i t h t h e i r f u t u r e d e s t i n y by m a n i p u l a t i n g t h i s w o r l d , becoming " f r u s -t r a t o r s " (AV (B) 2 3 5 ) . Y e a t s blamed much o f t h e c o n f u s i o n of A V i s i o n on j u s t s u c h f r u s t r a t o r s , w h i l e i n h i s e a r l y n o v e l , The S p e c k l e d B i r d , t h e m a g i c i a n MacLagan s c o r n s s e a n c e s b e c a u s e of t h e f r u s t r a t o r s ' i n e v i t a b l e p r e s e n c e t h e r e . Y e a t s b e l i e v e d t h a t a l l t h e s e s p i r i t s , l i k e t h e I r i s h f a i r i e s , a r e p l a s t i c and c h a n g e a b l e b e c a u s e w i t h o u t a s o l i d body s u c h as man p o s s e s s e s . These s p i r i t s can change form and a p p e a r a n c e at w i l l , or t a k e on the a p p e a r a n c e e x p e c t e d by t h e v i e w e r . Y e a t s s t a t e d t h i s e x p l i c i t l y i n h i s F a i r y and F o l k T a l e s o f t h e I r i s h P e a s a n t r y , when he s a i d , w r i t i n g o f the f a i r i e s and l o w e r o r d e r s of s p i r i t s , b e h i n d t h e v i s i b l e a r e c h a i n s on c h a i n s of con-"-s c i o u s b e i n g s , who a r e not of heaven but of e a r t h , who have no i n h e r e n t f o r m b u t change a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r whim, or t h e mind t h a t s e e s them. (FFT 2) E l s e w h e r e he w r o t e t h a t " T h e i r w o r l d i s v e r y d i f f e r e n t f r o m o u r s , and th e y can but ap p e a r i n forms b o r r o w e d f r o m our l i m i t e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s . . ." ( " I n v o k i n g t h e I r i s h F a i r i e s , " U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e , I , 2 4 7 ) . The forms w h i c h t h e y a d o p t , p l a c e , v e r y much l i k e , i f not the same a s , t h a t w h e r e i n c i v i l i z e d and u n c i v i l i z e d men a l i k e p l a c e t h e s o u l s of t h e dead, i n company w i t h o t h e r i n v i s i b l e b e i n g s " (Quoted from p. 18 by R a i n e , Y e a t s and t h e O c c u l t , p. 8 6 ) . 94 p a r t i c u l a r l y once t h e y had shed t h e 'husk' o f t h e i r f o r m e r s e l f a f t e r t h e f o u r t h p h a s e , i s t h e r e f o r e of l i t t l e s i g n i f -i c a n c e , w h i c h i s why i t does not much m a t t e r t h a t C u c h u l a i n ' s i m m o r t a l l o v e keeps c h a n g i n g f o r m . B r i c r i u a p p e a r s i n t h e body of C u c h u l a i n , w h i l e i n The P l a y e r Queen t h e g h o s t of t h e Queen's f a t h e r a p p e a r s i n t h e l i v i n g body of a beg g a r who f a l l s a s l e e p whenever t h e K i n g t a k e s o v e r . The p e o p l e t h r e a t e n t o e x e c u t e t h e beg g a r f o r h i s a n t i c s w h i l e under t h e power o f t h e k i n g , b u t he o n l y l a u g h s , e x p l a i n i n g , 'I l a u g h b e c a u s e I am b r e a t h . You s h a l l be blown away b e c a u s e you a r e a g a i n s t my d a u g h t e r . Come on and t w i s t my c l o u d y n e c k . ' (MPQ, D r a f t 16, 235) Be c a u s e s p i r i t s a r e so c h a n g e a b l e , and a l s o b e c a u s e he a c c e p t e d e v e r y o n e ' s h i e r a r c h y of s p i r i t s , b e l i e v i n g them i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e , Y e a t s o f t e n mixed them i n h i s work, as f o r example i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , where i n one l o n g s c e n e C a t h l e e n and A l e e l a r g u e as t o whether he has been v i s i t e d by Aengus or by some " a n g e l i c a l b e i n g . " I t does not m a t t e r , Y e a t s would s a y , s i n c e f o r him, as f o r t h e I r i s h p e a s a n t r y at l a r g e , t h e y a r e a l t e r n a t e metaphors f o r t h e same t r u t h : " C h r i s t i a n i t y and t h e o l d n a t u r e f a i t h have l a i n down s i d e by s i d e i n t h e c o t t a g e s , and I c o u l d p r o c l a i m t h a t peace as l o u d l y as I can among t h e kingdoms of p o e t r y , . . ." (VP1 1290). 95 Y e a t s was d o u b t l e s s aware of t h e c o n f u s i o n t h a t i n n u m e r a b l e s u c c e s s i o n s of d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s w ould c a u s e h i s a u d i e n c e s and r e a d e r s , s i n c e t h e p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n s of t h e p l a y s , w h i l e s t i l l r e t a i n i n g a number of s u p e r n a t u r a l c h a r a c t e r s , c o n t a i n c o n s i d e r a b l y f ewer t h a n do t h e unpub-l i s h e d v e r s i o n s . T h i s i s c e r t a i n l y t h e c a s e w i t h The  Shadowy W a t e r s , most of whose o r i g i n a l c a s t c o n s i s t e d of t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l gods of d a r k n e s s , th e S e a b a r s or F o m o r i a n s ; much of th e a c t i o n d e v e l o p s a r o u n d t h e i r f e a r and h a t r e d of F o r g a e l , who has become t h e i r m a s t e r , and t h e i r even s t r o n g e r h a t r e d of the gods of l i g h t . In t h e p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n s a l l t h e s e gods have been e l i m i n a t e d and r e p l a c e d by g r e y b i r d s r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e s o u l s of the dead, who l e a d F o r g a e l to t h e end of t h e w o r l d . In t h e c a s e of t h i s p l a y , however, the e l i m i n a t i o n of t h e gods was n o t e n t i r e l y h i s own i d e a , but was u r g e d upon Y e a t s by George Moore Moore d e s c r i b e s t h e r o l e he p l a y e d i n Ave, t h e f i r s t volume of h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h y H a i l and F a r e w e l l . He e x p l a i n s , i n h i s u s u a l mordant f a s h i o n , t h a t i n 1899, Y e a t s had come t o T i l l y r a '[home of t h e d r a m a t i s t Edward MartynJ from C o o l e a few days b e f o r e , and had r e a d us "The Shadowy W a t e r s , " a poem t h a t he had been w o r k i n g on f o r more t h a n s e v e n y e a r s , u s i n g i t as a r e c e p t a c l e or s t o r e h o u s e f o r a l l the f a n c i e s t h a t had c r o s s e d h i s mind d u r i n g t h a t t i m e , and t h e s e were so numerous t h a t t h e p i r a t e - s h i p r a n g i n g t h e Shadowy Waters came to us l a d e n t o t h e g u n n e l w i t h F o m o r i a n s , beaked and unbeaked, s p i r i t s of Good and E v i l o f v a r i o u s r e p u t e , and, so f a r as we c o u l d u n d e r s t a n d th e poem, t h e s e a c c o m p a n i e d a m e t a p h y s i c a l p i r a t e of a n c i e n t I r e l a n d c r u i s i n g i n t h e unknown w a t e r s o f t h e 96 N o r t h Sea i n s e a r c h of some u l t i m a t e kingdom. We a d m i t t e d t o Y e a t s , Edward and I , t h a t no a u d i e n c e would be a b l e t o d i s c o v e r t h e s t o r y o f t h e p l a y , and we c o n f e s s e d o u r s e l v e s among the b a f f l e d t h a t would s i t b e w i l d e r e d and go out r a g i n g a g a i n s t t h e p o e t . Our c r i t i c i s m d i d not a ppear to s u r -p r i s e Y e a t s ; he seemed t o r e a l i z e t h a t he had k n o t t e d and e n t a n g l e d h i s s k e i n t i l l no remedy s h o r t o f b r e a k i n g some of t h e t h r e a d s would a v a i l , and he e a g e r l y a c c e p t e d my p r o p o s a l to go o v e r t o C o o l e to t a l k out t h e poem w i t h him, and t o redeem i t , i f p o s s i b l e from t h e F o m o r i a n s . ^ The e d i t o r s of t h e m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s o f t h i s p l a y p o s i t t h a t Moore may w e l l have done more harm t h a n good; t h e y a r g u e t h a t by r e p l a c i n g a l l gods w i t h v a r i o u s t y p e s of b i r d s , f a t e , and o t h e r vague symbols Y e a t s g r e a t l y weakened h i s p l a y (DrC 294). N e v e r t h e l e s s Y e a t s , t h o u g h more t h a n a l i t t l e r e l u c t a n t l y , c o n t i n u e d t o f o l l o w t h e a d v i c e of o t h e r s , and to prune from t h e p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n s t h e p r o f u s i o n of d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s e n c o u n t e r e d i n t h e e a r l y v e r s i o n s . Thus i n t h e l a t e r v e r s i o n s of The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , w h i l e we s t i l l a r e p r e s e n t e d w i t h e v i l s p i r i t s s uch as O r c h i l who r i s e s out of h e l l at C a t h l e e n ' s d e a t h a l o n g w i t h her " v a p o u r y m u l t i t u d e / Of women a l l u r i n g d e v i l s w i t h s o f t l a u g h t e r " (VP1 1 5 7 ) , we a r e s p a r e d t h e t h i v i s h e s and o t h e r damned s o u l s who "whimper and f a d e " a t t h e edge of l i f e , and at g r e a t l e n g t h a t t h e edges o f t h e p l a y . Y e a t s e x p l a i n e d h i s . r e a s o n s f o r t h e change; Quoted i n Tower of P o l i s h e d B l a c k S t o n e s , pp. v i i i - i x , f r o m Ave (New Y o r k , 1914), pp. 250-1. 97 i t seems t h a t my p e o p l e of t h e w a t e r s and my unhappy dead, i n t h e t h i r d a c t , c a n n o t keep t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l e s s e n c e , b u t must put on too much of our m o r t a l i t y , i n an o r d i n a r y t h e a t r e . I am t o l d I must abandon a meaning or two and make my m e r c h a n t s c a r r y away t h e t r e a s u r e t h e m s e l v e s . (VP1 1289) The f i r s t s p h e r e i s t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d , a w o r l d not n e a r l y so s e p a r a t e from t h e o t h e r s as might be s u p p o s e d . Many of Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s , l i k e De.i'fire , '.• 'Decima , ^ P a u l R u t t l e d g e , C u c h u l a i n , Andrew i n The U n i c o r n , F o r g a e l and O i s i n , t o name but a few, a r e w a n d e r e r s , w a n d e r i n g t h r o u g h l i f e b e c a u s e t h e y c a n n o t , i n P a u l ' s words, " r i s e i n t h e d a r k n e s s under t h e s t a r s " and " l e a p from c l o u d to c l o u d " (VP1 1080). At h i s d e a t h - b e d , f r e e d at l a s t , P a u l welcomes t h e U n i c o r n who w i l l accompany him on h i s j o u r n e y up t h r o u g h t h e s p h e r e s , but t h e n , i n an i n t e r e s t i n g t w i s t , b a l k s a t g o i n g beyond t h e s e v e n t h s p h e r e of t h e w a n d e r i n g s t a r s , S a t u r n : T h a t i s r i g h t , t h a t i s r i g h t , t a k e me up i n y o u r b r a z e n c l a w s . But no - - n o - - I w i l l n o t go out beyond S a t u r n i n t o t h e d a r k . Take me down--down to t h a t f i e l d under t h e e a r t h , under t h e r o o t s of t h e g r a v e . (VP1 1163-4) Th a t men a r e s p i r i t s t e m p o r a r i l y r e s i d i n g i n a human body i s one of t h e most b a s i c t e n e t s i n a l l t h e p l a y s . Thus D e i r d r e s a y s to N a o i s e b e f o r e he goes o f f t o f i g h t Conchubar i n D e i r d r e , 98 Bend and k i s s me now, F o r i t may be t h e l a s t b e f o r e our d e a t h . And when t h a t ' s o v e r , w e ' l l be d i f f e r e n t ; I m p e r i s h a b l e t h i n g s , a c l o u d or a f i r e . 3 8 (VP1 375-6) T h i s i s t h e whole p o i n t of The H o u r - G l a s s , and i t i s some-t h i n g w h i c h many c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e p l a y s t a k e f o r g r a n t e d , though f o r t h e Wise Man i n t h a t p l a y i t i s a b i t t e r l e s s o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , some a r e c l o s e r to b e i n g f r e e of t h e i r b o d i e s t h a n o t h e r s , f o r t h e h i e r a r c h y c o n t i n u e s w i t h i n our own w o r l d as w e l l . W h i l e i t i s c l e a r f r o m t h e outcome of a number of t h e p l a y s t h a t men may r e a c h p e r f e c t i o n , and shed t h e m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n , a t any t i m e , Y e a t s a r g u e s i n A V i s i o n t h a t most s p i r i t s must undergo a minimum o f t w e n t y - e i g h t l i v e s on e a r t h , h a l f of them as s u b j e c t i v e , or a n t i t h e t i c a l , men, the o t h e r h a l f as o b j e c t i v e , or p r i m a r y , men, i n o r d e r to s a v o u r and a s s i m i l a t e a l l t y p e s of e x p e r i e n c e s p o s s i b l e b e f o r e t h e y can b e g i n t h e i r j o u r n e y back up t h r o u g h t h e s p h e r e s t o t h e P h a s e l e s s s p h e r e . In a number of p l a y s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n The O n l y J e a l o u s y of Emer and The P l a y e r Queen, Y e a t s seems to be c o n s c i o u s l y c r e a t i n g c h a r a c t e r s who a r e a t d i f f e r e n t J O T h a t d e a t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and n o t o b l i t e r a t i o n i s t h e message of Deird.re and o t h e r p l a y s w h i c h end i n d e a t h . T h a t , as V e n d l e r p o i n t s out i n " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s f o r t h e O t h e r w o r l d , " p. 309, " t h e p r o m i s e d l a n d t h a t F o r g a e l i s headed f o r b e a r s s u s p i c i o u s r e s e m b l a n c e s to d e a t h , " and t h a t t h r e e o t h e r e a r l y p l a y s end w i t h d e a t h may w e l l be s i g n i f i c a n t , but not i n t h e way t h a t V e n d l e r i m a g i n e s i t . 99 p h a s e s on t h e L u n a r Wheel, and c r i t i c s s uch as V e n d l e r , Nathan and F. A. C. W i l s o n have had a f i e l d day i d e n t i f y i n g t h e phases t o w h i c h each of t h e c h a r a c t e r s b e l o n g . The c h a r a c -t e r s who a p p e a r most f r e q u e n t l y i n Y e a t s ' s drama, C u c h u l a i n and t h e f o o l , a r e a t o p p o s i t e ends of the Wheel, t h e f o r m e r n e a r i n g t o t a l s u b j e c t i v i t y , t h e l a t t e r t o t a l o b j e c t i v i t y . The f o o l i s t h e c l o s e s t of a l l m o r t a l s to d i s c a r n a t e b e i n g s ( c l o s e r t h a n even t h e s a i n t ) , f o r he i n h a b i t s t h e l a s t i n c a r n a t e phase of the L u n a r Wheel, phase 28; i n A V i s i o n Y e a t s s a y s of him t h a t He i s but a s t r a w blown i n t h e w i n d , w i t h no m i n d but t h e wind and no a c t but a n a m e l e s s d r i f t i n g and t u r n i n g , and i s sometimes c a l l e d "The C h i l d of God." ... at h i s b e s t he would know a l l w i s -dom i f he c o u l d know a n y t h i n g . (AV (B) 1 8 2 ) 3 9 T h i s i s t h e r o l e w h i c h t h e f o o l p l a y s i n t h e drama. In The H o u r - G l a s s , t h e f o o l i s t h e o n l y one who knows the t r u t h , b u t he won't ( o r c a n ' t ) speak i t . In e a r l y d r a f t s of The  P l a y e r Queen, on t h e o t h e r hand, t h e f o o l Mad M i c h a e l does speak, but i n s u c h a r a m b l i n g f a s h i o n t h a t no one (not even the e d i t o r of t h e p l a y ) u n d e r s t a n d s him. The f o o l s e e s and u n d e r s t a n d s t h e w o r l d w h i c h b o r d e r s on t h i s one as c l e a r l y as On t h e K a b b a l a r i a n T r e e of L i f e (a f a v o u r i t e sym-b o l of Y e a t s ' s ) , w h i c h i s made up of 22 p a t h s l i n k i n g t h e s e p h i r o t h f r o m Malkus ( e a r t h ) to K e t h e r ( n o t - b e i n g beyond B e i n g ) , t h e l a s t p a t h b e f o r e t h e a t t a i n m e n t of t h e God-Head or K e t h e r i s t h e p a t h of t h e f o o l . 100 he does t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d , and t a l k s about b o t h i n t e r -c h a n g e a b l y ; i n t h i s he r e s e m b l e s o t h e r v i s i o n a r i e s i n t h e p l a y s s u c h as t h e w i t c h e s i n On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d , t h e m u s i -c i a n s i n t h e "Noh" p l a y s and t h e a t t e n d a n t s i n A F u l l Moon  i n March, who seem t o know e v e r y t h i n g t h a t w i l l a f f e c t t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s of t h e p l a y s , but a r e u n a b l e t o change t h e o u t -come. They a r e i n some s e n s e s t h e t o u c h s t o n e s o f r e a l i t y i n the p l a y s . On one l e v e l a t l e a s t C h r i s t i n C a l v a r y and The  R e s u r r e c t i o n p l a y s t h e same r o l e . He i s t h e s a v i o u r , the embodiment of hope, but i s a l s o a v i c t i m , b e c a u s e t h o u g h :he u n d e r s t a n d s t h e t r u t h , and s t r a d d l e s t h i s p l a n e and t h e n e x t , he c a n n o t r e a l l y i n f l u e n c e e i t h e r . ' One f i n a l k n o t i n Y e a t s ' s h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g r e m a i n s to be u n t a n g l e d b e f o r e we p r o c e e d t o s t u d y t h e i n t e r a c t i o n of the v a r i o u s p l a n e s of b e i n g i n t h e drama. S i n c e " n o t h i n g e x i s t s b u t a s t r e a m o f s o u l s , [and] ... a l l knowledge i s b i o g r a p h y " (VP1 9 3 5 ) , i t f o l l o w s t h a t , f o r Y e a t s as f o r E a s t e r n m y s t i c s , e v e r y t h i n g a r o u n d us, even s e e m i n g l y i n a n -i m a te m a t t e r , i s imbued w i t h a s o u l and i s a p a r t of t h e h i e r a r c h y t h r o u g h w h i c h a l l s o u l s d e s c e n d and a s c e n d . Y e a t s r e f e r s to t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i n h i s poem, "He T h i n k s of H i s P a s t G r e a t n e s s When a P a r t o f t h e C o n s t e l l a t i o n s of Heaven," i n w h i c h a F o r g a e l - l i k e c h a r a c t e r s t a t e s t h a t , h a v i n g been "a h a z e l t r e e ... hung [ w i t h ] / The P i l o t S t a r and t h e Crooked P l o u g h / ... i n t i m e s out of mind," he l a t e r became 101 "a r u s h t h a t horse's t r e a d " b e f o r e becoming a man (VE_ 1 7 7 ) . Though Y e a t s o m i t s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y e n t i r e l y f r o m h i s d i s c u s -s i o n of t h e s o u l ' s m u l t i p l e p h a s e s of b e i n g i n A V i s i o n , t h i s theme i s d r a m a t i z e d most e x p l i c i t l y i n The H e m e ' s Egg, where he p l a y s w i t h th e b e l i e f t h a t , i f a man commits a l o w l y deed, he may be r e i n c a r n a t e d as a b e a s t ; C o n g a l i n t h i s p l a y w i l l be r e i n c a r n a t e d as an a s s . O b v i o u s l y Y e a t s was i n f l u -e nced i n t h i s by S h r i P u r o h i t Swami, w i t h whom he was s p e n d -i n g t h e w i n t e r of 1937 d u r i n g w h i c h he w r o t e the p l a y , and by h i s r e d i s c o v e r y i n t h e l a s t two y e a r s o f h i s l i f e o f The  U p a n i s h a d s ( w h i c h he h e l p e d t h e Swami t r a n s l a t e ) and of E a s t e r n t h o u g h t g e n e r a l l y , a r e d i s c o v e r y he made much of i n h i s l e t t e r s t o AE. Y e a t s q u i t e w i l l i n g l y i n t e g r a t e d t h i s p h i l o s o p h y i n t o h i s own m e t a p h y s i c s , j u s t as he d i d so many o t h e r r e l i g i o u s s ystems t h r o u g h o u t h i s l i f e . They a r e a l l m e t aphors f o r a t r u t h we c a n n o t comprehend; l i t t l e more can be s a i d . I t i s b e s t to b e a r i n mind Y e a t s ' s r e m o r s e , e x p r e s s e d i n h i s j o u r n a l , a f t e r he had a r g u e d the t r u t h of r e i n c a r n a t i o n t o o f o r c e f u l l y to Maud Gonne: I remember a pang o f c o n s c i e n c e . Ought I not t o s a y , 'The whole d o c t r i n e of t h e r e i n c a r n a t i o n of t h e s o u l i s h y p o t h e t i c a l . I t i s t h e most p l a u s -i b l e of t h e e x p l a n a t i o n s of the w o r l d , but can we say more t h a n t h a t ? ' or some l i k e s e n t e n c e . (Memoirs 4 8) 102 V. C o n f l i c t S p i r i t s on a l l l e v e l s o f e x i s t e n c e i n t e r a c t i n Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , and t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n v a r i o u s forms of c o n f l i c t . The s t r i f e between i m m o r t a l s i i s l e s s i n t e n s e t h a n t h a t between m o r t a l s and i m m o r t a l s , s i n c e , as Y e a t s w r o t e i n a p a r a p h r a s e of Swedenborg, s p i r i t s a r e not " d i v i d e d from s p i r i t [ s ] as men a r e from each o t h e r , f o r t h e y s h a r e each o t h e r ' s t h o u g h t s and l i f e . . . " (V & B, I , 3 1 6 ) . Thus th e c o n f l i c t of t h e p e r f e c t e d community of s p i r i t s i s more l i k e a dance between o p p o s i t e s , a dance w h i c h c a n n o t c e a s e u n t i l t h e y a r e j o i n e d i n t h e f u l n e s s beyond d i v i s i o n . In t h e eyes of s e v e r a l e n v i o u s m o r t a l s i n t h e p l a y s , t h i s d i v i n e c o n f l i c t i s a j o y o u s , n e v e r - e n d i n g b a t t l e f o r w h i c h t h e y l o n g . In On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d , C u c h u l a i n i n d i s g u s t compares th e w a r f a r e between i m m o r t a l s to t h e p e t t y s q u a b b l e s o f m o r t a l i t y : t h o u g h t h e y l o v e to blow a smoking c o a l T i l l i t ' s a l l f l a m e , t h e wars t h e y blow a f l a m e A r e f u l l o f g l o r y , and h e a r t - u p l i f t i n g p r i d e , And not l i k e t h i s . (VP1 522) M a r t i n H e a r n e , i n The U n i c o r n from t h e S t a r s , has a v i s i o n i n w h i c h he c l a i m s t o v i s i t ' P a r a d i s e , ' and d e s c r i b e s i t t h u s : ... I have s e e n t h e s h i n i n g p e o p l e . They were a l l d o i n g one t h i n g or a n o t h e r , but not one of them was at work. A l l t h a t t h e y d i d was but t h e o v e r -f l o w i n g o f t h e i r i d l e n e s s , and t h e i r days were a dance b r e d of t h e s e c r e t f r e n z y of t h e i r h e a r t s , or a b a t t l e where t h e sword made a sound t h a t was l i k e l a u g h t e r . (VP1 6 88) 103 T h i s i s t h e b a t t l e o f w h i c h P a u l R u t t l e d g e speaks when he c r i e s t h a t he wants, "n o t t h e f i g h t i n g of men i n r e d c o a t s , t h a t f o r m a l , s o o n - f i n i s h e d f i g h t i n g , but t h e e n d l e s s b a t t l e , t h e e n d l e s s b a t t l e " (VP1 1 097). The b a t t l e between m o r t a l s and i m m o r t a l s i s more b i t t e r , and much more d r a m a t i c , s i n c e t h e y a r e o p p o s i t e s i n e v e r y s e n s e , and " d i e each o t h e r ' s l i f e , l i v e each o t h e r ' s d e a t h . " The two w o r l d s , t h e one v i s i b l e , t h e o t h e r i n v i s i b l e , a r e p r e s e n t i n most of t h e p l a y s , and s u c h c h a r a c t e r s as t h e f o o l s and t h e m u s i c i a n s a r e v e r y much a t home i n b o t h of them. T h e i r o p p o s i t i o n i s u n d e r s c o r e d by a p a s s a g e p u r p o r t e d l y w r i t t e n by a b e g g a r on t h e w a l l s of B a b y l o n , and q u o t e d by t h e Wise Man i n The H o u r - G l a s s : T h e r e a r e two l i v i n g c o u n t r i e s , t h e one v i s i b l e and t h e one i n v i s i b l e ; and when i t i s w i n t e r w i t h us i t i s summer i n t h a t c o u n t r y , and when the November winds a r e up among us i t i s l a m b i n g -t i m e t h e r e . (VP1 578) Many of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s a r e a c t u a l l y s e t on t h e b o r d e r between t h e s e two w o r l d s , and t h e e n c o u n t e r s between i n c a r n a t e and 4 0 d i s c a r n a t e f i g u r e s t a k e p l a c e on t h e s e b o r d e r s . One s u c h b o r d e r , p e r h a p s Y e a t s ' s f a v o u r i t e , i s a w i n d -C f . P a t r i c i a and B o r d e r l i n e s i n Y e a t s xxx, i i i (Summer, 1978), M e r i v a l e , " ' U l t i m a T h u l e ' : G h o s t s and R i l k e , " C o m p a r a t i v e L i t e r a t u r e , pp-. 249-268 . 104 swept s h o r e s e p a r a t i n g t h i s w o r l d from the s e a , and i s t h e s e t t i n g o f q u i t e a number of p l a y s , s u c h as The G o l d e n H e l m e t , On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d and The Only J e a l o u s y of Emer. T h i s s e t -t i n g i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t of t h e s y m b o l i c s t r u c t u r e of t h e s e p l a y s , a s t r u c t u r e w h i c h Y e a t s was o b v i o u s l y t i g h t e n i n g i n The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n when he changed t h e m e e t i n g - p l a c e of O i s i n and t h e goddess Niamh from a " v a l e " to " t h e dove g r e y edge o f t h e s e a " (VE 2 ) . The s e a i n Y e a t s ' s work has a wide r a n g e of meaning, and has t h u s a c q u i r e d , i n B. B j e r s b y ' s 41 words, "a s y m b o l i c l i f e as c h a n g e a b l e as t h e s e a i t s e l f . " In t h e drama, however, the sea i s a c o n s i s t e n t s y m b o l : i t i s b o t h "Henry More's Anima Mundi, Wordsworth's ' i m m o r t a l sea w h i c h b r o u g h t us h i t h e r ' " (M 3 4 6 ) , and t h e home of d i s -c a r n a t e s p i r i t s who a r e i n i m i c a l to man; as s u c h i t r e p r e -s e n t s t h e w o r l d between l i v e s . The s e a i s t h e home of t h e s e a - g o d s s u c h as t h e Fomor i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , th e Red Man and Manannan i n The G o l d e n Helmet, and Fand and B r i c r i u i n The Only J e a l o u s y , who a r e a l l i n p e r p e t u a l c o n f l i c t w i t h man. Many m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s would a g r e e w i t h C o n a l l i n The Green  Helmet t h a t we have n o t h i n g t o f e a r t h a t has n o t come up from t h e t i d e ; The r o c k s and t h e bushes c o v e r whoever made t h a t n o i s e , But t h e l a n d w i l l do us no harm. (VP1 4 22-3) B i r j i t B j e r s b y , The I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e  C u c h u l a i n Legend i n t h e Work of W. B. Y e a t s ( U p s a l a : A.-B. L u n d e q u i s t s k a B o k h a n d e l n , 1950), p. 98. 105 T h a t The Shadowy Waters i s s e t on t h e sea i t s e l f i s s i g n i f -i c a n t i n t h i s c o n t e x t . F o r g a e l ' s voyage has a l r e a d y t a k e n him f a r from human l i f e ; t h e s e a l i n k s him w i t h t h e Fomor and s e p a r a t e s him from h i s human companions, and i t i s o b v i o u s t h a t d e s p i t e A i b r i c ' s u r g i n g h i s f a t e i s s e a l e d ; he can no l o n g e r r e t u r n to m o r t a l i t y . The sea most e x p l i c i t l y r e p r e s e n t s the w o r l d between l i v e s i n The O n l y J e a l o u s y . The n o t e s to t h e p l a y p o s i t t h a t t h e s e a i s t h e "womb" of h u m a n i t y w h i c h has r e j e c t e d man, and t o w h i c h he s t r i v e s t o r e t u r n as he wanders t h r o u g h l i f e , b e w i l d e r e d and a l o n e . The p l a y opens as a s o l i t a r y s e a -b i r d i s c a s t out of t h e sea at d a y b r e a k onto t h e s h o r e ; t h e s t o r m - b a t t e r e d b i r d ' s p l i g h t r e s e m b l e s " t h e l o n e l i n e s s o f t h e f i r s t c r a b or c r a y f i s h t h a t c l i m b e d a s h o r e and t u r n e d l i z a r d " (VP1 571) of w h i c h Y e a t s s p e a k s i n t h e n o t e s . The o p e n i n g l y r i c s c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e tremendous d i f f e r e n c e between t h e sea and t h e l a n d , and e s p e c i a l l y on t h e shock of t h e b i r d as i t i s thrown f r o m one t o t h e o t h e r . The b i r d ' s h e l p l e s s n e s s i s r e m i n i s c e n t of C u c h u l a i n ' s i m p o t e n c e i n t h e f a c e of h i s 4 2 I d i s a g r e e v e r y s t r o n g l y w i t h B u s h r u i ' s a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e sea i n t h i s p l a y s i g n i f i e s " t h e m a t e r i a l . - w o r l d , " i n V e r s e P l a y s o f W. B. Y e a t s , p. 9.' I t s s e t t i n g on t h e s e a i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h Y e a t s ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e p l a y as a dream v i s i o n , when he w r i t e s t h a t " t h e whole p i c t u r e as i t were moves t o g e t h e r — sky and sea and c l o u d a r e as i t were a c t o r s . I t i s d e l i b e r a t e l y w i t h o u t human c h a r a c t e r s " (L 4 2 5 ) . 106 d e s t i n y a t t h e end of t h e p r e c e d i n g p l a y , On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d , when he b a t t l e s v a i n l y but f u r i o u s l y w i t h t h e s e a f o r t h r e e days b e f o r e f a l l i n g i n t o a t r a n c e . O t h e r s p e c i f i c b o r d e r s i n t h e p l a y s i n c l u d e C o n n l a ' s W e l l i n At t h e Hawk's W e l l and i n The Cat and t h e Moon, w h i c h as t h e w e l l of i m m o r t a l i t y s e p a r a t e s t h e m o r t a l r e a l m from t h e i m m o r t a l one, and i s the m e e t i n g p l a c e of C u c h u l a i n and t h e Hawk woman, and o f t h e lame and b l i n d men w i t h t h e H o l y Man; t h e " m a l e v o l e n t woods" of The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , D e i r d r e , and Land of H e a r t ' s D e s i r e , i n w h i c h s t r a n g e and e v i l b e i n g s wander i n t h e f a d i n g l i g h t o f day; t h e r u i n e d a n c e s t r a l home i n P u r g a t o r y , J o n a t h a n S w i f t ' s home i n Words Upon t h e Window-Pane, and t h e r u i n e d Abbey of Corcomroe i n The Dreaming of t h e Bones, where t h e l i v i n g meet t h e g h o s t s of t h e dead; and t h e m o u n t a i n - t o p i n The H e m e ' s Egg, where C o n g a l i s f i n a l l y done i n by t h e G r e a t H e m e . In The Deat h of C u c h u l a i n t h e s e t t i n g i s not s p e c i f i e d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e p l a y , but we a r e t o l d t h a t "The scene i s s e t , " p r e s u m a b l y f o r h i s d e a t h ; C u c h u l a i n c h i d e s E i t h n e as she i s m e n t i o n i n g coming d a n g e r s , s a y i n g , Spoken t o o l o u d l y and t o o n e a r t h e d o o r ; Speak low i f you would speak about my d e a t h , Or n ot i n t h a t s t r a n g e v o i c e e x u l t i n g i n i t . Who knows what e a r s l i s t e n b e h i n d t h e doo r ? (VP1 1055) In o t h e r p l a y s no s e t t i n g i s g i v e n , b u t t h e weary i t i n e r a n t m u s i c i a n s , who a r e a l l - s e e i n g , a l l - k n o w i n g , and y e t h e l p l e s s 107 to c o n t r o l t h e a c t i o n , a r e c l e a r l y t r a v e l l e r s a l o n g t h e b o r d e r , b e l o n g i n g to n e i t h e r w o r l d but commenting on b o t h . The c o n f l i c t between m o r t a l s and i m m o r t a l s t h a t o c c u r s a t t h e s e b o r d e r s can t a k e t h e form of good a g a i n s t e v i l , as i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n and i n such s i m p l e a l l e g o r i e s as The H o u r - G l a s s and The Cat and t h e Moon; e v i l i n Y e a t s ' s terms i s n o t h i n g more t h a n " t h e s t r a i n one upon a n o t h e r of o p p o s i t e s " (M 3 5 7 ) . In The Shadowy W a t e r s , t h e F o m o r i a n s p l o t t o k i l l F o r g a e l b e c a u s e t h e y r e s e n t h i s m a s t e r y , w h i l e i n The G r e a t H e m e, t h e p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of 'God' or f a t e e a s i l y c r u s h e s t h o s e who oppose him. In most p l a y s , however, t h e c o n f l i c t i s between e q u a l s , o p p o s i t e s who a r e drawn to each o t h e r out of some u n f u l f i l l e d need. The .ensuing s t r i f e u s u a l l y t a k e s t h e form e i t h e r of a war between t h e s e x e s , t h e s p i r i t u a l b e i n g a s s u m i n g t h e r o l e of t h e B e l o v e d and of s p i r i t u a l t e m p t r e s s , or of a war between man and h i s g u a r d i a n a n g e l o r daimon, who i s h i s t r u e o p p o s i t e , t h a t o t h e r s e l f w h i c h e x i s t s i n t h e o p p o s i t e , or d i s c a r n a t e , s t a t e . H e l e n V e n d l e r a s s e r t s t h a t " t h e O t h e r w o r l d [ i s ] s e e n i n 4 3 t h e e a r l y p l a y s c h i e f l y i n r e l a t i o n to s e x u a l l o v e . . . " A c t u a l l y , t h i s i s t r u e to some e x t e n t of most of t h e p l a y s , b e c a u s e th e vague, u n s p e c i f i e d d e s i r e w h i c h i s t h e d e s i r e 4 3 V e n d l e r , " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s , " p. 311 108 f o r U n i t y of B e i n g t a k e s i t s f i r s t and most o b v i o u s form as the d e s i r e f o r u n i o n w i t h one's s e x u a l o p p o s i t e . Immortal women seek out t h e l o v e of m o r t a l men i n su c h e a r l y p l a y s as Time and t h e W i t c h V i v i e n and The I s l a n d of S t a t u e s , b u t a l r e a d y Y e a t s was wary o f t h e s e d u c t i o n o f t h e o t h e r w o r l d . In t h e s e p l a y s , as i n t h e l a t e r The Wanderings o f O i s i n , At  the Hawk's W e l l and The Onl y J e a l o u s y of Emer, i m m o r t a l women a r e shown t o be as d a n g e r o u s as t h e y a r e a t t r a c t i v e . W r i t e s E. E n g e l b e r g , "The I s l a n d of S t a t u e s makes i t v e r y c l e a r t h a t when s u p e r n a t u r a l c r e a t u r e s i n t r u d e i n t o - - o r a r e i n t r u d e d upon b y — t h e m o r t a l w o r l d , t h e r e s u l t i s d i s a s t r o u s . . ." . ^ The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n d e s c r i b e s a b e a u t i f u l g o ddess from a l a n d "knowing nor t u m u l t nor h a t e nor s t r i f e " (V_E 9) who f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h O i s i n b e c a u s e of t h e t a l e s of h i s e x p l o i t s i n b a t t l e . W i t h t h e b e s t of, i n t e n t i o n s , she p e r -suades him to l e a v e b e h i n d t h i s w o r l d of p a i n and s t r i f e f o r her w o r l d . The voyage has d i s a s t r o u s r e s u l t s f o r b o t h Niamh and O i s i n , t h o u g h , as Y e a t s l a t e r e x p l a i n s i n "The C i r c u s A n i m a l ' s D e s e r t i o n , " "What c a r e d I t h a t s e t him on t o r i d e , / I , s t a r v e d f o r t h e bosom of h i s f a e r y b r i d e ? " (V_E 6 2 9 ) . The i s l a n d s to w h i c h Niamh l e a d s him a r e m e r e l y w o r l d s of 4 4 E . E n g e l b e r g , "He Too was i n A r c a d i a , " In E x c i t e d  R e v e r i e , p. 71. 109 " V a i n g a i e t y , v a i n b a t t l e , v a i n r e p o s e " (VE_ 629), and when O i s i n f i n a l l y s h a k e s h e r i n f l u e n c e and r e t u r n s to I r e l a n d , b r e a k i n g h e r h e a r t i n t h e p r o c e s s , I r e l a n d i s as a l i e n t o him as were t h e e n c h a n t e d i s l a n d s . Fand's m o t i v e s f o r s e d u c -i n g C u c h u l a i n i n The Only J e a l o u s y of Emer a r e r a t h e r more s e l f i s h . Fand, who too o f t e n has been u n d e r s t o o d as a p e r f e c t e d i m m o r t a l b e i n g , a l s o d e s i r e s t h e l o v e of a m o r t a l man and s a y s , " b e c a u s e I l o n g I am not c o m p l e t e . " A l t h o u g h she r e p r e s e n t s on t h e s y m b o l i c l e v e l t h e p e r f e c t i o n o f b e a u t y not p o s s i b l e i n t h i s w o r l d , Fand i s on t h e d r a m a t i c l e v e l an i n c o m p l e t e b e i n g who needs C u c h u l a i n i n o r d e r t o c o m p l e t e h e r s e l f , and t h u s f r e e h e r s e l f f r o m t h e L u n a r Wheel. She does not o f f e r C u c h u l a i n c o m p l e t i o n or p e r f e c t i o n , but m e r e l y o b 1 i v i o n : When y o u r mouth and my mouth meet A l l my round s h a l l be c o m p l e t e I m a g i n i n g a l l i t s c i r c l e s r u n ; And t h e r e s h a l l be o b l i v i o n Even to quench C u c h u l a i n ' s d r o u t h , Even to s t i l l t h a t h e a r t . (VP1 555) C u c h u l a i n ' s m e e t i n g w i t h a goddess i n At t h e Hawk's W e l l p r o v e s no more r e w a r d i n g . Seduced by t h e dance of t h e Hawk-woman, C u c h u l a i n f o r g e t s to watch t h e w e l l of i m m o r t a l i t y and m i s s e s t h e s t r e a m of w a t e r t h a t gushes from i t . I n t h i s p l a y , however, the g o d d e s s ' s m o t i v e s a r e not c o m p l e t e l y s e l -f i s h . She i s a l s o " t h e g u a r d i a n of t h e w e l l " - - a s t h e g u a r d i a n o f t h e t h r e s h o l d o f a n o t h e r w o r l d , she r e f u s e d p a s s a g e t o t h o s e who, l i k e t h e young, c o c k y C u c h u l a i n , have 110 not p r o v e n t h e m s e l v e s t o be w o r t h y . I t must be e m p h a s i z e d t h a t m o r t a l men d e s i r e t h i s u n i o n w i t h i m m o r t a l women j u s t as s t r o n g l y . However, i n Y e a t s ' s w o r l d v i e w , t h e hound w i t h t h e r e d e a r c a n n o t c a t c h up t o the w h i t e d e e r u n t i l t h e end o f a l l t h i n g s , when p e r f e c t u n i o n w i l l be p o s s i b l e . I t f o l l o w s t h a t once the o b j e c t of d e s i r e has been a t t a i n e d w i t h i n c r e a t i o n , i t i s no l o n g e r t h e t r u e o b j e c t of d e s i r e , s i n c e i t i s not a t r u e o p p o s i t e , and t h e s e e k e r must now s e a r c h f o r i t s t r u e o p p o s i t e , or d a i m o n . ^ Y e a t s makes t h i s p a r t i c u l a r l y c l e a r i n The O n l y J e a l o u s y where, i n t h e n o t e s t o t h e p l a y , he e x p l a i n s why t h e m i d d l e - a g e d C u c h u l a i n i s q u i t e r i g h t to r e j e c t Fand : Young, we d i s c o v e r an o p p o s i t e t h r o u g h our l o v e ; o l d , we d i s c o v e r our l o v e t h r o u g h an o p p o s i t e n e i t h e r h a t e nor d e s p a i r can d e s t r o y , b e c a u s e i t i s a n o t h e r s e l f , a s e l f t h a t we have f l e d i n v a i n . (VP1 571) Now t h a t Fand's l o v e , w h i c h C u c h u l a i n has l o n g e d f o r a l l h i s l i f e , i s w i t h i n easy r e a c h , he must t u r n from i t and seek h i s t r u e o p p o s i t e , who i s i n t h e p l a y t h e d e formed B r i c r i u , t h e p r i m a r y h unchback of phase 26 of t h e G r e a t Wheel who p e r f e c t l y o pposes t h e a n t i t h e t i c a l w a r r i o r o f t h e m i d d l e 4 5 Note the r e s e m b l a n c e t o S h e l l e y ' s A t h a n a s e , of w h i c h Y e a t s w r o t e , "We know too t h a t had P r i n c e A t h a n a s e been f i n i s h e d i t would have d e s c r i b e d t h e f i n d i n g of Pandemos, the [ M o r n i n g ] S t a r ' s Love g e n i u s , and t h e g r o w i n g weary of h e r , and t h e coming o f i t s t r u e g e n i u s U r a n i a a t t h e coming of d e a t h , as t h e day f i n d s t h e S t a r at e v e n i n g " (E & I 8 8 ) . I l l p h a s e s . That B r i c r i u i s C u c h u l a i n ' s t r u e o p p o s i t e , h i s o t h e r s e l f , i s made d r a m a t i c a l l y o b v i o u s i n t h e p l a y , s i n c e B r i c r i u assumes t h e comatose body of C u c h u l a i n . The daimon, as Y e a t s w r o t e i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e , " w h i c h he f i n i s h e d j u s t b e f o r e he began The O n l y J e a l o u s y of Emer, must l e a d " h i s v i c t i m to w h a t e v e r among works not i m p o s s i b l e i s t h e most d i f f i c u l t " (M 3 6 1 ) . The daimon i s not w h o l l y b e n e v o l e n t , as Y e a t s h a s t e n e d to add; i t a l s o needs c o m p l e t i o n , w h i c h i s why i t s e e k s out i t s m o r t a l o p p o s i t e : " t h e Daimon comes not as l i k e t o l i k e but s e e k i n g i t s own o p p o s i t e , f o r man and Daimon f e e d t h e hunger i n one a n o t h e r ' s h e a r t s " (M 335); i t i s t h u s f i t t i n g t h a t B r i c r i u , who a c t s as t h e daimon of b o t h C u c h u l a i n and Emer i n t h e p l a y , s h o u l d be t h e god of d i s c o r d of I r i s h m y t h o l o g y , ^ and d e s t r o y s b o t h C u c h u l a i n ' s chance to e s c a p e w i t h Fand and Emer's hope of r e c o v e r i n g C u c h u l a i n ' s l o v e . ^ N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e daimon i s man's g u i d i n g s p i r i t , h i s g u a r d i a n a n g e l . T h i s i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e m a g i c a l t r a d i t i o n e s p o u s e d H ° W r i t e s V. Moore, " t h e C e l t i c e v i l gods a r e not a b s o -l u t e l y p e r v e r s e ; t h e y combine c r u e l t y w i t h p a t e r n i t y - - ' o n e of t h e s t r a n g e s t and most i n t e r e s t i n g a s p e c t s of t h e C e l t i c r e l i g i o n . ' " U n i c o r n , p. 55, q u o t i n g f r o m A r b o i s de J u b a i n -v i l l e . 4 7 F o r a more c o m p l e t e d i s c u s s i o n of t h e r o l e o f t h e daimon i n t h i s p l a y see H. C. M a r t i n , "A R e - I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The O n l y J e a l o u s y of Emer by W. B. Y e a t s , " M.A. T h e s i s ( F r e d e r i c t o n , N.B., 1 9 73). 112 by t h e G o l d e n Dawn, wh i c h t e a c h e s t h a t u n i o n w i t h h i s g u a r d i a n a n g e l i s t h e f i r s t and most i m p o r t a n t of t h e m a g i c i a n ' s g o a l s . W r i t e s I s r a e l R e g a r d i e , Hence t h e r e i s , i n r e a l i t y , one p e r f e c t r i t u a l i n M a g i c , one g o a l w h i c h t a k e s p r e c e d e n c e o v e r a l l o t h e r s : t h e i n v o c a t i o n of t h e H o l y G u a r d i a n A n g e l , u n i o n w i t h whom s h o u l d even p r e c e d e t h e i n v o c a t i o n s of the Gods or t h e U n i v e r s a l E s s e n c e s . . . . The s o u l s e e k s f i r s t and d e l i v e r s i t s l i f e i n t o t h e g o v e r n a n c e of i t s Daimon, under whose g u i d a n c e t h e Gods t h e m s e l v e s may be s u p p l i -c a t e d .48 The key to u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e r o l e of t h e daimon i n t h e drama i s to d i s c o v e r t h e c h o i c e s w h i c h i t i s p r e s e n t i n g to i t s m o r t a l o p p o s i t e i n t h e p l a y , t h e " h a r d e s t work" w h i c h i t has c h o s e n ; i t does not m a t t e r whether i t i s m o t i v a t e d by b e n e v o l e n c e or by m a l i c e . A c a s e i n p o i n t i s The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n . In t h i s p l a y Y e a t s ' s i m m o r t a l goddess a p p e a r s as t h e M o r r i g u ; though she i s s t i l l i n l o v e w i t h C u c h u l a i n , she has now t a k e n on t h e r o l e o f h i s daimon to g u i d e him as he a p p r o a c h e s d e a t h . T h a t t h e B e l o v e d s h o u l d become the daimon i s g i v e n p r e c e d e n c e i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u nae," where Y e a t s w r i t e s t h a t my i m a g i n a t i o n r u n s from Daimon to s w e e t h e a r t , and I d i v i n e an a n a l o g y t h a t evades the i n t e l l e c t ... i t may be ' s e x u a l l o v e , ' w h i c h i s 'founded upon s p i r i t u a l h a t e , ' i s an image of t h e w a r f a r e R e g a r d i e , The T r e e of L i f e , p. 180. 113 of man and Daimon, and I even wonder i f t h e r e may not be some s e c r e t communion, some w h i s -p e r i n g i n t h e d a r k between Daimon and sweet-h e a r t . (M 336) In t h e 1925 e d i t i o n of A V i s i o n Y e a t s even c l a i m e d , t h o u g h he l a t e r changed h i s mind, t h a t t h e daimon i s a l w a y s of t h e o p p o s i t e sex, and t h a t t h e r e f o r e t h e r e l a t i o n of man t o daimon "may c r e a t e a p a s s i o n l i k e t h a t of s e x u a l l o v e " (AV (A) 2 7 ) . I f t h e M o r r i g u i n t h i s p l a y i s u n d e r s t o o d t o be C u c h u l a i n ' s daimon, and i f i t i s f u r t h e r u n d e r s t o o d t h a t t h e daimon can be m o t i v a t e d e q u a l l y by b e n e v o l e n c e and m a l i c e , much of t h e c o n f u s i o n c r e a t e d by h e r r o l e i n t h e p l a y i s e a s i l y c l e a r e d up. An e s s a y by P h i l i p M a r c u s , "Myth and Meaning i n The  D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n , " documents t h e i n c r e d i b l e c o n f u s i o n t h a t has ensued from c r i t i c s ' a t t e m p t s t o u n t a n g l e t h e M o r r i g u ' s m o t i v e s i n t h e p l a y . But w h i l e Marcus a r g u e s t h a t t h e Mor-. r i g u i s i n f a c t C u c h u l a i n ' s daimon, he n e v e r t h e l e s s f a l l s i n t o t h e same t r a p as have the c r i t i c s t o whose i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n s he t a k e s e x c e p t i o n . S t u d y i n g t h e r o l e of t h e M o r r i g u i n t h e p l a y , he f i r s t s i f t s t h r o u g h a l l t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s w h i c h c l a i m t h a t she i s e v i l , s i n c e she e n g i n e e r s C u c h u l a i n ' s d e a t h . M a r c u s , c i t i n g t h e a u t h o r i t y of t h e C e l t i c i s t W. M. H ennessy, a r g u e s c o n c l u s i v e l y t h a t she i s i n f a c t " b e n e v o l e n t and p r o t e c t i v e " t o w a r d s C u c h u l a i n , and i s even, " ' A p p a r e n t l y 114 h i s t u t e l a r y g o d d e s s ' . " 4 y What Marcus does not u n d e r s t a n d i s t h a t t h e M o r r i g u can be b o t h b e n e v o l e n t and a n t a g o n i s t i c a t t h e same t i m e , as C u c h u l a i n ' s o p p o s i t e who must l e a d him to t h e most d i f f i c u l t of c h o i c e s . B e c a u s e he u n d e r s t a n d s h e r to be f r i e n d l y t o w a r d s C u c h u l a i n , Marcus t a k e s t h i s t o mean t h a t .she must t r y to d i s s u a d e him, however u n s u c c e s s f u l l y , f r o m m e e t i n g h i s d e a t h . ^ He ends, U l t i m a t e l y , however, C u c h u l a i n i s not p r e v e n t e d from f i g h t i n g and d y i n g ; and t h e o n l y t h i n g t h e M o r r i g u can do i s a r r a n g e a dance i n w h i c h Emer r a g e s a g a i n s t t h e heads of h e r husband's s l a y e r s .... 51 In f a c t , t h e M o r r i g u knows t h a t f o r C u c h u l a i n , now an o l d man, d e a t h i s t i m e l y and f i t t i n g . C u c h u l a i n a l s o seems p r e p a r e d f o r i t , s a y i n g at t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e p l a y , t h o u g h he knows t h a t t h e r e i s v i r t u a l l y no chance of w i n n i n g t h e b a t t l e , I am f o r t h e f i g h t , I and my h a n d f u l a r e s e t upon t h e f i g h t ; We have f a c e d g r e a t odds b e f o r e , a s t r a w d e c i d e d . (VP1 1054) Once C u c h u l a i n has been l e d t o and has a c c e p t e d h i s f a t e , t h e ^ M a r c u s . , "Myth and Meaning i n The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n , " p. 135. ^ H e r e i s a n o t h e r example of a c r i t i c who m i s u n d e r s t a n d s t h e meaning o f d e a t h f o r Y e a t s ; Marcus a r g u e s t h a t t h e p l a y "ends on a g r i m n o t e " (p. 1 4 4 ) . ^ M a r c u s , p . 139 . 115 M o r r i g u a r r a n g e s t h e dance, n o t b e c a u s e i t i s t h e o n l y t h i n g i n h e r power to do, but b e c a u s e i t i s t h e f i t t i n g t h i n g to do. C u c h u l a i n has not t h w a r t e d t h e M o r r i g u ' s d e s i g n s , as Marcus a r g u e s , nor has he been t h w a r t e d by h e r ; she g u i d e s him t o h i s d e a t h , f o r w h i c h he p r e p a r e s h i m s e l f by l a y i n g t o r e s t a l l t h e g h o s t s of h i s l i f e as t h e y a p p e a r b e f o r e him, and he goes o f f to j o i n t h e s p i r i t s on a h i g h e r p l a n e o f e x i s t e n c e who a r e d e s c r i b e d i n t h e companion poem " C u c h u l a i n C o m f o r t e d . " One f i n a l t y p e of e n c o u n t e r between m o r t a l s and immor-t a l s b e a r s some m e n t i o n , and t h a t i s t h e a l t e r c a t i o n s between the l i v i n g and t h e g h o s t s of t h e dead i n t h e p l a y s . T h e s e dead s p i r i t s c o n t i n u e t o haunt t h e s c e n e o f t h e i r p a s t l i v e s b e c a u s e , f o r w h a t e v e r r e a s o n , t h e y have not y e t been a b l e to l e t go of t h e p e r s o n a l i t y and memories a d o p t e d i n t h e s e l i v e s . The g h o s t s i n The Dreaming of t h e Bones a c t u a l l y need the h e l p of t h e l i v i n g i n o r d e r t o e x p i a t e t h e i r g u i l t a t b e t r a y i n g I r e l a n d to t h e Normans; t h e y a r e doomed t o wander around I r e l a n d u n t i l t h e y a r e f o r g i v e n t h e i r c r i m e by a l i v i n g I r i s h m a n . P u r g a t o r y adds an i n t e r e s t i n g t w i s t to t h e theme of t h e m u t u a l dependence of t h e l i v i n g and t h e d e a d . In t h a t p l a y i t i s h i n t e d t h a t t h e dead mother w i l l n o t be a b l e to l e a v e t h e s c e n e of h e r c r i m e and r e s t u n t i l h e r s o n , who i s s t i l l l i v i n g , f o r g i v e s h e r her c r i m e . 116 Such i s t h e r e l a t i o n of m o r t a l s and i m m o r t a l s ; i t f o l l o w s t h a t t h e c o n f l i c t w i t h i n c r e a t i o n i s most i n t e n s e i n t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d , s i n c e m o r t a l s a r e t h e b e i n g s most d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , and t h e r e f o r e most s e p a r a t e d f r o m each o t h e r . The c o n f l i c t o f m o r t a l s t a k e s i t s most e x a g g e r a t e d f o r m i n The P l a y e r Queen, t h e p l a y w h i c h Y e a t s was w r i t i n g at t h e same t i m e as he d e v i s e d h i s t h e o r y of t h e mask. In one v e r s i o n or a n o t h e r , e v e r y c h a r a c t e r i s p i t t e d a g a i n s t a n o t h e r d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed to i t s e l f - - S e p t i m u s a g a i n s t a n o t h e r a c t o r , P e t e r , i n some v e r s i o n s , a g a i n s t t h e Pri m e M i n i s t e r i n o t h e r s ; Decima a g a i n s t Septimus on one l e v e l , a g a i n s t t h e r e a l queen on a n o t h e r ; t h e queen a g a i n s t h e r h e r o i n e , t h e m a r t y r S t . Octema, and so on. These o p p o s i t e s must s t r u g g l e c o n t i n u a l l y ; as Septimus s a y s of h i s r e l a -t i o n s h i p w i t h Decima, " t h e r e i s between her and me a s t r u g g l e , a t r i a l w h i c h of t h e two i s m a s t e r . . . " (MPQ, D r a f t s 8-10, 8 1 ) . Many of t h e s e p a i r s a r e on o p p o s i t e s i d e s of t h e L u n a r Wheel. In o t h e r p l a y s , s u c h as On B a i l e ' s  S t r a n d and The U n i c o r n From t h e S t a r s , t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s a r e s u b j e c t i v e , i n t u i t i v e men who a r e p i t t e d a g a i n s t o b j e c t i v e , r a t i o n a l men s u c h as K i n g Concubar and Thomas, who a l s o r e p r e s e n t t h e r e p r e s s i v e f o r c e s o f t h e o b j e c t i v e e r a i n w h i c h t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s a r e l i v i n g . The most common form of c o n f l i c t among m o r t a l s , as i s to be e x p e c t e d , i s s e x u a l l o v e , of w h i c h C u c h u l a i n s a y s : 117 I t h i n k t h a t a l l deep p a s s i o n i s but a k i s s In t h e mid b a t t l e , and a d i f f i c u l t p e a c e 'Twixt o i l and w a t e r , c a n d l e s and d a r k n i g h t . H i l l - s i d e and h o l l ow, t h e h o t — f o o t e d sun And t h e c o l d s l i d i n g s 1 i p p e r y - f o o t e d moon, A b r i e f f o r g i v e n e s s between o p p o s i t e s T hat have been h a t r e d s f o r t h r e e t i m e s th e age Of h i s ( t h i s ) l o n g ' s t a b l i s h e d g r o u n d . (VP1 47 8) In d r a f t 16 of The P l a y e r Queen, Decima e x p l a i n s why t r u e l o v e must i n e v i t a b l y r e s u l t i n c o n f l i c t . She a r g u e s t h a t t h e q u a r r e l s between l o v e r s stem from th e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t , no m a t t e r how c l o s e t h e y become, t h e y must a l w a y s r e m a i n s e p a r a t e b e i n g s . When he and I have q u a r r e l e d I d r e a d t h e v e r y mouse t h a t squeaks under t h e f l o o r Yet c a n n o t keep m y s e l f from a r g u i n g b e c a u s e As I would have my s o u l and h i s s o u l one T h e r e i s no d i f f e r i n g t h o u g h t too s l i g h t t o seem As i t were a wedge t h r u s t down i n t o t h e s o u l . (MPQ 217) S eptimus s h a r e s Decima's f e e l i n g s . A l t h o u g h she t r e a t s him d e c i d e d l y b a d l y , and Nona, who a l s o l o v e s him, t r e a t s him e x t r e m e l y w e l l , he c h o o s e s Decima ov e r N o n a — w h a t m a t t e r s i s n o t t h a t l o v e b r i n g s t r a n q u i l l i t y , but t h a t i t k i n d l e a f i r e between t h e l o v e r s (MPQ 2 1 3 ) . Even an o l d woman has l i t t l e sympathy f o r Septimus when she h e a r s t h a t Decima has b r o k e n h i s h e a r t , f o r she s a y s , What i s t h a t h e a r t b r e a k but t h e f i e r y n e s t (The p h o e n i x n e s t i n l i f e i s but b o r n o f l i f e ) Where l i f e , t h e h o l y p h o e n i x , comes from l i f e ? (MPQ, d r a f t 16, 2 1 6 ) . 118 Many of t h e p l a y s s t r e s s t h e s t r e n g t h of t h i s m o r t a l p a s s i o n , a p a s s i o n w h i c h d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s , whose b a t t l e s a r e l e s s f i e r c e , and t h e r e f o r e l e s s p a s s i o n a t e and l i f e -g i v i n g , b o t h f e a r and envy. In The Shadowy Waters the Fomor become weak i n t h e p r e s e n c e of " h e a r t s t h a t bend to l o v e " (DrC 5 8 - 9 ) , and F o r g a e l ' s l o v e f o r Decima i s a s t r o n g enough bond t o p r o t e c t D e c t o r a f r o m t h e i r g r a s p . D e i r d r e , a p l a y m a i n l y about m o r t a l p a s s i o n , documents t h e f o r c e of m o r t a l l o v e when i t becomes h a t r e d . D e i r d r e j i l t s K i n g Conchubar and r u n s o f f w i t h N a o i s e . The k i n g p l o t s to k i l l N a o i s e , and l u r e s t h e l o v e r s back t o h i s kingdom by p r o m i s i n g them c l e m e n c y . U n h a p p i l y , t h e l o v e r s b e l i e v e him and r e t u r n . The p l a y a r g u e s t h a t t h e y were f o o l i s h to t h i n k t h a t a l o v e w h i c h had been so s t r o n g c o u l d d i m i n i s h i n s t r e n g t h when i t t u r n e d t o j e a l o u s y and h a t r e d . The k i n g ' s d e s i r e f o r r e v e n g e i s so o v e r p o w e r i n g t h a t i t can o n l y be quenched when h i s r i v a l l i e s dead a t h i s f e e t ; i t c o m p l e t e l y overshadows a l l s e n s e of honour and j u s t i c e . T hat t h i s d e a t h a l s o l e a d s t o t h e d e a t h of D e i r d r e seems of s e c o n d a r y i m p o r t a n c e to him. Even i n h i s g r i e f a t h e r d e a t h , Conchubar a s s e r t s t h a t I, b e i n g K i n g , d i d r i g h t In c h o o s i n g h e r most f i t t i n g t o be Queen, And l e t t i n g no boy l o v e r t a k e t h e sway. (VP1 3 88) 119 VI The e l a b o r a t e h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g w h i c h Y e a t s b e l i e v e d i n , and w h i c h i s r e p r e s e n t e d by a v a s t a r r a y of s p i r i t s i n the drama, can be u n d e r s t o o d as a c h a i n l i n k i n g t h e l o w e s t c r e a t u r e i n t h e u n i v e r s e to t h e h i g h e s t , i n " t h a t u n i v e r s a l mind, w h e r e i n e v e r y mood i s a s o u l and e v e r y t h o u g h t i s a body" ( U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e , I , 2 4 7 ) . Each s p i r i t j o u r n e y s down t h i s c h a i n and back up a g a i n , m a n i f e s t i n g i t s e l f as e v e r y l i n k i n t h e c h a i n i n o r d e r to e x p e r i e n c e a l l k n owledge, b e f o r e i t c a n r e t u r n t o t h e womb from w h i c h i t was h u r l e d a t c r e a t i o n , t h e One or c o m p l e t e U n i t y of w h i c h i t i s an I n t e g r a l p a r t . W h i l e u n d e r g o i n g t h i s j o u r n e y , t h e s p i r i t i s i n c o n s t a n t c o n f l i c t w i t h s p i r i t s on a l l l e v e l s of b e i n g , f o r c o n f l i c t i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of t h e d i v i s i o n c a u s e d by c r e a t i o n , and c a n -not be overcome u n t i l a l l o p p o s i t e s a r e r e c o n c i l e d i n t h e f i n a l U n i t y . C o n f l i c t i s i n f a c t good and n e c e s s a r y , f o r t h r o u g h t h e s t r u g g l e w i t h i t s o p p o s i t e / e n e m y , t h e s p i r i t can e v e n t u a l l y g a i n t h e knowledge and s e l f - k n o w l e d g e w i t h w h i c h i t w i l l s u c c e s s f u l l y n e g o t i a t e i t s j o u r n e y , and w h i c h w i l l r e s u l t i n t h e e l i m i n a t i o n o f c o n f l i c t , t h e r e m o v a l o f d e s i r e , and t h e u n i o n w i t h i t s h i g h e r S e l f . 120 Though t h e p l a y s c e n t r e on m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s , t h e s t r u g g l e s t h e y d e p i c t a r e b e s t u n d e r s t o o d i n t h e c o n t e x t of t h i s h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g , s i n c e many m o r t a l s i n t h e p l a y s e i t h e r know, a r e t o l d , o r remember t h a t t h e y were once d i s -c a r n a t e b e i n g s , and t h a t t h e i r m o r t a l garb w i l l be "but empty cage and t a n g l e d w i r e " (De i r d r e, CP1 202) when t h e i r s p i r i t has e s c a p e d . E v e r y s p i r i t i n t h e p l a y s i s f i n a l l y b o t h god and man, b o t h m o r t a l and i m m o r t a l , s i n c e i t s u l t i m a t e r e a l -i t y encompasses b o t h . J u s t as r e a l i t y i s a s p h e r e , though m a n i f e s t e d w i t h i n c r e a t i o n as a g y r e , or even p a r t o f a g y r e , so t h e r e a l i t y o f t h e s p i r i t i s a whole of w h i c h any m a n i f e s -t a t i o n , on any l e v e l of t h e h i e r a r c h y of b e i n g , i s but a s m a l l p a r t . The d i v e r s e s t r u g g l e s of t h e m u l t i f a r i o u s s p i r i t s i n t h e drama a r e t h u s , i n t h e f i n a l a n a l y s i s , t h e s t r u g g l e s of one s p i r i t , who works, p a i n f u l l y but s u r e l y , to r e v e r s e t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n b r o u g h t about by c r e a t i o n . The f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r w i l l s t u d y th e theme of memory, of f o r g e t t i n g , l e a r n i n g ( a c q u i r i n g memories) and remembering ( d r e a m i n g b a c k ) i n t h e p l a y s , as i t i l l u m i n a t e s i n more s p e c i f i c terms t h e j o u r n e y of one s p i r i t t h r o u g h d i s c a r n a t e and i n c a r n a t e s t a t e s of b e i n g . C h a p t e r I I I : F o r g e t t i n g , L e a r n i n g , Remembering and F o r g e t t i n g : The J o u r n e y of t h e S p i r i t t h r o u g h D i s c a r n a t e t o I n c a r n a t e L i f e and Back I The theme of memory, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y of f o r g e t t i n g , l e a r n i n g ( a c q u i r i n g m e m o r i e s ) , and remembering ( d r e a m i n g b a c k ) , p e r v a d e s t h e drama of W. B. Y e a t s , and i s one of Y e a t s ' s f a v o u r i t e v e h i c l e s f o r i n t e g r a t i n g h i s t h e o r i e s about t h e n a t u r e and h i s t o r y of i n c a r n a t e and d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s as u n o b t r u s i v e l y as p o s s i b l e i n t o t h e drama. T h i s theme l i n k s a l a r g e number of t h e p l a y s , f o r i t f i g u r e s p r o m i n e n t l y i n s u c h e a r l y works as The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , The Shadowy Waters and The Wanderings of O i s i n , and grows i n i m p o r t a n c e t h r o u g h The Only J e a l o u s y o f Emer and a l l t h e p u r g a t o r i a l p l a y s r i g h t t o The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n . W h i l e t h i s theme forms an i n t e g r a l p a r t of many p l a y s , i t s c o m p l e t e meaning must n e v e r t h e l e s s be p i e c e d t o g e t h e r t h r o u g h a c l o s e c o l l a t i o n of Y e a t s ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r e a t i s e s and a l l a v a i l -a b l e e a r l y v e r s i o n s of t h e p l a y s . A c c o r d i n g t o t h e p h i l o s o p h y t h u s p i e c e d t o g e t h e r , e v e r y s p i r i t w i t h i n c r e a t i o n goes t h r o u g h an a l m o s t i n t e r m i n a b l e 122 c y c l e of f o r g e t t i n g , l e a r n i n g , remembering and f o r g e t t i n g , from i t s f i r s t d e s c e n t i n t o t h e g y r e s of t i m e , t h r o u g h i t s j o u r n e y a r o u n d t h e ph a s e s of t h e L u n a r Wheel, u n t i l i t s f i n a l r e t u r n t o t h e Sphere o f E t e r n i t y . T h i s c y c l e of f o r g e t t i n g and remembering i s f i r s t u n d e r t a k e n by t h e s p i r i t when i t l e a v e s t h e s t a t e of u n i t y ( i n n o c e n c e i n B l a k e a n t e r m s ) t o j o u r n e y t h r o u g h d i s p a r a t e e x p e r i e n c e , s a m p l i n g s e p a r a t e l y e v e r y t y p e of e x p e r i e n c e p o s s i b l e b e f o r e i n t e g r a t i n g a l l of i t i n t o a g r e a t e r i n n o c e n c e , a g r e a t e r u n i t y . T h i s t h e o r y i s b e a u t i f u l l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n Y e a t s ' s poem " S h e p h e r d and G o a t h e r d , " w h i c h d e s c r i b e s t h e s o u l of R o b e r t G r e g o r y as i t i n t e g r a t e s t h e e s s e n c e of t h e e x p e r i e n c e s of t h i s l i f e and t h e n f o r g e t s i t s v e h i c l e , memory, on i t s j o u r n e y back to the b e g i n n i n g : J a u n t i n g , j o u r n e y i n g To h i s own d a y s p r i n g , He unpacks t h e l o a d e d p e r n Of a l l 'twas p a i n or j o y t o l e a r n , Of a l l t h a t he had made. Knowledge he s h a l l unwind T h r o u g h v i c t o r i e s of t h e mind, T i l l , c l a m b e r i n g a t t h e c r a d l e s i d e , He dreams h i m s e l f h i s m o t h e r ' s p r i d e , A l l knowledge l o s t i n t r a n c e Of s w e e t e r i g n o r a n c e . (VE 342-3) The s p i r i t f i r s t f o r g e t s i t s o r i g i n a l u n i t y , i t s com-p l e t e s e l f , a t c r e a t i o n . I t i s l e f t w i t h a vague l o n g i n g f o r u n i t y w h i c h i t s e e k s t o quench by p u r s u i n g f i r s t one o b j e c t of d e s i r e and t h e n a n o t h e r down t h r o u g h t h e h i e r a r c h y 123 of b e i n g . As p a r t of t h i s j o u r n e y most s p i r i t s u n d e r t a k e a s e r i e s of p h y s i c a l i n c a r n a t i o n s ; b e f o r e b i r t h t h e s p i r i t c h o o s e s — o r has imposed on i t by i t s d e s t i n y , t h o s e s p i r i t s who make up t h e e x t e r n a l f o r c e s of t h e u n i v e r s e — t h e c i r c u m -s t a n c e s and p e r s o n a l i t y i n t o w h i c h i t w i l l be b o r n . D u r i n g i t s span on e a r t h t h i s p e r s o n a l i t y a c c u m u l a t e s a s e t of memories, memories t h a t i t t r u l y b e l i e v e s i n . B e c a u s e l i f e on e a r t h i s b i t t e r , t h e s e memories a r e o f t e n p a i n f u l , a c u r s e as much as t h e y a r e a b l e s s i n g , and t h e s o u l ( t h a t p a r t of t h e s p i r i t w h i c h i s i n c a r n a t e d ) i s t o r n between a d e s i r e t o f o r g e t them, t o shake i t s e l f f r e e o f t h e s e memor-i e s and t h i s l i f e , and a d e s i r e to c l i n g to them, t o b e l i e v e i n them as i t s s o l e r e a l i t y . Memory i t s e l f i s s p e c i f i c a l l y l i n k e d t o m o r t a l i t y i n t h e p l a y s . Human b e i n g s have b o t h memories and c o n s c i e n c e s , w h i l e d i s c a r n a t e b e i n g s have n e i t h e r ; " t h e r e ' s n o t h i n g w i l l s t o p i n t h e i r h e a d s , / They've s u c h poor memories, th o u g h t h e y weep f o r i t , " s a y s A l e e l i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n (VP1 5 5 ) . Y e a t s s t r e s s e s t h i s p o i n t i n h i s a l l e g o r y The Cat and  th e Moon, i n w h i c h , as he c l a i m e d i n t h e n o t e s , " t h e frlind man was t h e body, t h e lame man was t h e s o u l " (VP1 8 0 7 ) . I n the p l a y t h e b l i n d man, t h e body, remembers e v e r y t h i n g : " s i n c e I went b l i n d i n t h e t e n t h y e a r of my age, I have been h e a r i n g and remembering t h e knowledges of t h e w o r l d " (VP1 124 796). The lame man, t h e s o u l , f o r g e t s e v e r y t h i n g : " N o t h i n s t a y s i n my head, B l i n d Man" (VP1 797), he l a m e n t s . Memory t h u s c o n s t i t u t e s one of t h e most i m p o r t a n t d i f -f e r e n c e s between i n c a r n a t e b e i n g s and d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s , and i s a major c a u s e of t h e c o n f l i c t and r i v a l r y between them. Many m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s i n ' t h e p l a y s envy s p i r i t s t h e i r f r e e d o m f r o m s o r r o w and p a s s i o n , f r o m t h e p a i n and s h e e r w e i g h t of memories, w h i c h t i e man t o t h e e a r t h p e r h a p more t h a n a n y t h i n g e l s e . D i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s , on t h e o t h e r hand, o f t e n envy men's memories, t h e i r r e c o r d o f a c t i o n s , l o v e s and p a s s i o n s w h i c h t h e s p i r i t s , b e i n g w i t h o u t b o d i e s , c a n n o t e n j o y : " d e p r i v e d of t h e l i v i n g p r e s e n t by d e a t h , t h e y can c r e a t e n o t h i n g , o r , i n t h e I n d i a n p h r a s e , can o r i g i n a t e no new Karma" (VP1 9 6 8 ) . " A l l power i s from t h e body," Y e a t s w r o t e e l s e w h e r e , and t h e y have o n l y s p i r i t . The daimons and t e a c h i n g s p i r i t s who g u i d e men t h r o u g h t h e i r d e s t i n i e s a r e s a i d i n A V i s i o n to f e e d l i t e r a l l y o f f men's memories: We must, however, a v o i d a t t r i b u t i n g to them t h e p u r e b e n e v o l e n c e our e x h a u s t e d P l a t o n i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y a t t r i b u t e to an a n g e l i c a l b e i n g . Our a c t i o n s , l i v e d i n l i f e , or remembered i n d e a t h , a r e t h e f o o d and d r i n k of t h e S p i r i t s of t h e T h i r t e e n t h Cone [ t h e r e a l m of t h e daimon i n A V i s i o n ] , t h a t w h i c h g i v e s them s e p a r a t i o n and s o l i d i t y . (AV (B) 230) T h i s i s j u s t a n o t h e r f a c e t of t h e o n g o i n g s t r u g g l e 125 between t h i s w o r l d and i t s o p p o s i t e , t h e " o t h e r w o r l d , " w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e s Y e a t s ' s drama. H e r e , as a l w a y s , men and d i s -embodied s p i r i t s a r e l i v i n g e a ch o t h e r ' s d e a t h , d y i n g each o t h e r ' s l i f e . In p l a y a f t e r p l a y d i s e m b o d i e d s p i r i t s , t h e s o - c a l l e d i m m o r t a l s , a r e i m p e r f e c t b e i n g s e x i s t i n g a t some s t a g e between d e a t h and b i r t h i n w h i c h t h e y have f o r g o t t e n t h e i r o l d memories and have not y e t p i c k e d up new o n e s . They need t h e i r o p p o s i t e s , men, and men's memories i n o r d e r t o c o m p l e t e t h e m s e l v e s . T h i s i s so i n The Only J e a l o u s y of  Emer, to g i v e b u t one example. Fand, so o f t e n t a k e n t o be a p u r e s p i r i t who has n e v e r l i v e d on e a r t h , i m p l i e s t h a t she h e r s e l f has t a k e n b o d i l y f o r m when she t a l k s of b e i n g of t h o s e s p i r i t s who have shed t h e i r memories, who " a l l have washed out o f t h e i r eyes / Wind-blown d i r t o f t h e i r memories / To improve t h e i r s i g h t " (VP1 557). S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s C u c h u l a i n ' s a t t a c h m e n t t o h i s memories w h i c h most i n f u r i a t e s h e r . I t i s at d e a t h t h a t t h e i m p o r t a n c e of memories becomes t r u l y a p p a r e n t . The s o u l must t h e n f a c e i t s memories, r e l i v i n g them many t i m e s u n t i l t h e y a r e u n d e r s t o o d and a c c e p t e d . Only t h e n can i t i n t e g r a t e them i n t o a new aware-n e s s of i t s e l f and t h u s be f r e e d of them. The i m p o r t a n c e o f t h i s p r o c e s s c a n n o t be o v e r s t a t e d : 126 Nor can t h e r e be work so g r e a t As t h a t w h i c h c l e a n s man's d i r t y s l a t e . W h i l e man can s t i l l h i s body keep Wine or l o v e d r u g him to s l e e p , But body gone he s l e e p s no more, And t i l l h i s i n t e l l e c t grows s u r e T h a t a l l ' s a r r a n g e d i n one c l e a r v i e w , P u r s u e s t h e t h o u g h t s t h a t I p u r s u e , Then s t a n d s i n judgment on h i s s o u l , And, a l l work done, d i s m i s s e s a l l Out of i n t e l l e c t and s i g h t And s i n k s a t l a s t i n t o t h e n i g h t . ("The Man and t h e E c h o , " ( 1 9 3 9 ) , VE 632-3) The p u r p o s e of l i f e i s u n d e r s t o o d i n r e t r o s p e c t , a f t e r d e a t h , when the s o u l can no l o n g e r h i d e from i t s e l f and from i t s memories i n t h e same way t h a t i t c o u l d on e a r t h . The s p i r i t r e l i v e s i t s memories d u r i n g p u r g a t o r y , t h a t s t a t e between l i v e s t h a t Y e a t s d r a m a t i z e d i n p l a y s as d i f f e r e n t as C a l v a r y , The Words Upon the Window Pane, The Dreaming of the Bones and P u r g a t o r y — i n . a l l t h e s e p l a y s t h e d i s e m b o d i e d s p i r i t s s t r u g g l e t o f r e e t h e m s e l v e s from t h e i r m o r t a l t i e s , w i t h v a r y i n g d e g r e e s of s u c c e s s . O n l y a f t e r t h e y have a c c e p t e d and d i s -c a r d e d t h e i r memories can t h e s e s p i r i t s j o i n t h e p u r i f i e d s p i r i t s beyond p u r g a t o r y , who a r e e i t h e r between l i v e s or who have e s c a p e d from t h e c y c l e s of t i m e e n t i r e l y . T h i s i s t h e g o a l of a l l s p i r i t s , w hether or not t h e y a r e aware of i t . "The S p i r i t i s not t h o s e c h a n g i n g images ... but t h e l i g h t , and a t l a s t draws backward i n t o i t s e l f , i n t o i t s own change-l e s s p u r i t y , a l l i t has f e l t or known" (A V i s i o n (B) 2 2 0 - 1 ) . 127 A c c o r d i n g to Y e a t s t h e r e i s a p o s s i b l e o b s t a c l e i n t h e way of a c h i e v i n g t h i s g o a l w h i c h has n o t h i n g to do w i t h t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t — t h e memory of t h e l i v i n g may i n t e r f e r e w i t h t h e d i s c a r d i n g o f memory by t h e dead. In Y e a t s ' s w o r l d v i e w " e v e r y mood i s a s o u l and e v e r y t h o u g h t i s a body" ( U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e , I, 247), and, w h i l e t h e l i v i n g a r e p l a g u e d by o b j e c t s o f s e n s e , t h e dead a r e p l a g u e d by t h o u g h t s: The t o i l of t h e l i v i n g i s t o f r e e t h e m s e l v e s f r o m an e n d l e s s s e q u e n c e of o b j e c t s , and t h a t of t h e dead to f r e e t h e m s e l v e s from an e n d l e s s s e q u e n c e of t h o u g h t s . (M 353-4) Be c a u s e , as.Yeat s. e x p l a i n e d .-in " P er Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e , " a l l t h e t h o u g h t s of t h e l i v i n g t a k e on a r e a l i t y of t h e i r own w h i c h t r a n s c e n d s t i m e , a dead p e r s o n may be u n a b l e to shake o f f t h i s w o r l d , and i t s p a s t e x i s t e n c e w i t h i n i t , as l o n g as t h e r e i s someone h e r e who remembers him. Says Y e a t s , some-what f a c e t i o u s l y , " i t i s f o r no o t h e r end t h a t , a l l unknow-i n g , we v a l u e posthumous fame..." (M 359-60). In a n o t h e r t w i s t of h i s t h e o r y of memory, Y e a t s a l s o b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e c o l l e c t i v e memory of a group has as much r e a l i t y as has t h e memory of t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t . F o r t h i s r e a s o n he p l a c e d g r e a t s t o c k i n t h e r a c i a l memory of the I r i s h p e o p l e . He b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e modern I r i s h n e eded, n o t to be f r e e d o f t h e memories of t h e i r p a s t , but r a t h e r to be 128 ransomed by t h e memories of t h e i r p a s t g r e a t n e s s from t h e i r s o r d i d p r e s e n t . He f e l t t h a t t h i s r a c i a l memory c o u l d be i n v o k e d ( s i n c e no memory, though d i s c a r d e d by the s p i r i t s , i s e v e r l o s t ) and, i n t h e poems and p l a y s b a s e d on I r i s h m y t h o l -ogy, a c t i v e l y s ought t o reawaken t h i s memory i n modern I r i s h -men, as he u r g e d o t h e r p o e t s t o do: I r i s h p o e t s , l e a r n y o u r t r a d e , S i n g w h a t e v e r i s w e l l made, S c o r n t h e s o r t now g r o w i n g up A l l out o f shape from t o e to t o p , T h e i r unremembering h e a r t s and heads B a s e - b o r n p r o d u c t s of b a s e b e d s . S i n g t h e p e a s a n t r y , and t h e n H a r d - r i d i n g c o u n t r y g e n t l e m e n , The h o l i n e s s of monks, and a f t e r P o r t e r - d r i n k e r s ' r a n d y l a u g h t e r ; S i n g t h e l o r d s and l a d i e s gay That were b e a t e n i n t o c l a y T h r o u g h s e v e n h e r o i c c e n t u r i e s ; C a s t y o u r mind on o t h e r days That we i n coming days may be S t i l l t h e i n d o m i t a b l e I r i s h r y . ("Under Ben B u l b e n , " VE 639-40) I I . F o r g e t t i n g At c r e a t i o n a community o f s p i r i t s emerges from t h e o r i g i n a l u n i t y , each of whose members becomes aware of i t -s e l f as a c o m p l e t e b e i n g , s e p a r a t e from and y e t d e t e r m i n e d by t h e r e s t . E ach s p i r i t must now d e s c e n d i n t o t h e g y r e s o r cones of t i m e and s p a c e i n o r d e r to be b o r n . T h i s d e s c e n t i s d e s c r i b e d more t h a n once i n A V i s i o n , and i s t h e c e n t r a l theme of Y e a t s ' s poem "Chosen," i n w h i c h l o v e r s c h o o s e f i r s t 1 2 9 to d e s c e n d t h r o u g h the Z o d i a c (an a l t e r n a t e symbol i n Y e a t s ' s work f o r t h e n i n e s p h e r e s of t h e p t o l e m a i c c o s m o l o g y ) to be b o r n , and t h e n to r e t u r n ' a f t e r d e a t h to " t h e m i r a c u l o u s s t r e a m / W h e r e — w r o t e a l e a r n e d a s t r o l o g e r — / The Z o d i a c i s changed i n t o a s p h e r e " (VJ£ 535). The l e a r n e d a s t r o l o g e r i s M a c r o b i u s , and t h e p a s s a g e t o w h i c h Y e a t s a l l u d e s i n t h e poem i s t h e f o l l o w i n g : S i n c e t h o s e who a r e about t o d e s c e n d a r e y e t i n C a n c e r , and have not l e f t t h e M i l k y Way, t h e y r a n k i n t h e o r d e r o f t h e g o d s . . . . From t h e c o n -f i n e , t h e r e f o r e , i n w h i c h t h e z o d i a c and g a l a x y t o u c h one a n o t h e r , t h e s o u l , d e s c e n d i n g from a ro u n d f i g u r e w h i c h i s t h e o n l y d i v i n e f o r m , i s p r o d u c e d i n t o a cone.-'-F. A. C. W i l s o n e x p l a i n s t h i s p a s s a g e i n h i s s t u d y o f " C h o s e n " : In P l a t o n i s m , t h e s o u l has a p r e - n a t a l e x i s t e n c e i n h e a v e n , a f t e r w h i c h i t d e s c e n d s t h r o u g h a s e r i e s of s t a g e s i n t o t h e m a t e r i a l w o r l d , a c q u i r i n g d u r i n g i t s d e s c e n t t h e a t t r i b u t e s of p e r s o n a l i t y i t w i l l - have i n i t s f u t u r e l i f e . The symbol used f o r t h e s o u l ' s abode b e f o r e b i r t h , as Y e a t s knew from T a y l o r ' s P o r p h y r y , was t h e M i l k y Way. From t h e r e , t h e s o u l d e s c e n d e d , and t h e P l a t o n i s t used t h e s i g n s of t h e z o d i a c t o s y m b o l i s e t h e s t a g e s of t h e descent.-^ As t h e s p i r i t makes i t s d e s c e n t t h r o u g h t h e s p h e r e s , or t h e s i g n s o f t h e z o d i a c , to be b o r n , i t must f o r g e t i t s t r u e n a t u r e , i t s g o d l i n e s s , i n o r d e r to b e l i e v e c o m p l e t e l y i n i t s 1 Q u o t e d by F. A. C. W i l s o n i n Y e a t s and T r a d i t i o n ( L o n -don: Methuen, 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 2 1 0 . o W i l s o n , Y e a t s and T r a d i t i o n , p. 2 1 0 . 130 p e r s o n a l i t i e s i n s u c c e s s i v e l i v e s . T h i s l e a d s to i t s s e p a r -a t i o n i n t o s p i r i t and m a t t e r , or s e l f and s o u l , or man and daimon, whose u n r e s o l v a b l e c o n f l i c t c h a r a c t e r i z e s l i f e . One of Y e a t s ' s f a v o u r i t e symbols f o r t h e s p i r i t ' s f i r s t a c t of f o r g e t t i n g i s P o r p h y r y ' s " i n t o x i c a t i n g c o l d d r i n k of g e n e r a -t i o n , " w h i c h he e x p l a i n s i n "The P h i l o s o p h y of S h e l l e y ' s P o e t r y " : C o l d , he [ P o r p h y r y ] s a y s , c a u s e s l i f e i n t h e w o r l d , and h e a t c a u s e s l i f e among t h e gods, and t h e c o n -s t e l l a t i o n of t h e Cup i s s e t i n t h e heavens n e a r the s i g n of C a n c e r , b e c a u s e i t i s t h e r e t h a t t h e s o u l s d e s c e n d i n g from t h e M i l k y Way r e c e i v e t h e i r d r a u g h t o f t h e i n t o x i c a t i n g c o l d d r i n k of g e n e r a -t i o n . (E & I 83) H a v i n g drunk from t h i s cup, t h e s p i r i t l o s e s i t s p r e - n a t a l memory. F. A. C , W i l s o n a r g u e s t h a t A F u l l Moon i n M a r c h , t h r o u g h i t s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e s w i n e h e r d who c a n n o t remember where he came from , i l l u s t r a t e s most c l e a r l y how c o m p l e t e l y th e s p i r i t f o r g e t s i t s d i v i n i t y w h i l e i n l i f e . The s w i n e h e r d has l o s t h i s memory; t h a t i s , i n P l a t o n i c t e r m s , he has l o s t t h e p r e - n a t a l memory, as s p i r i t must do on e n t e r i n g t h e m a t e r i a l u n i -v e r s e . He remembers n o t h i n g of h i s e x i s t e n c e i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l w o r l d b e f o r e h i s i n c a r n a t i o n ; Y e a t s i r o n i c a l l y has him t h i n k h i s o r i g i n 'more f o u l t h a n r a g or f l e s h . ' ^ The symbol of t h e "cup of L e t h e , " as Y e a t s c a l l s i t i n A V i s i o n (AV (A) 236-7), o c c u r s i n d i f f e r e n t g u i s e s i n t h e W i l s o n , Y e a t s and T r a d i t i o n , p. 88. 131 drama. Y e a t s ' s t h r e e e a r l y works, The Shadowy W a t e r s , The  W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n and The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n a l l s t r e s s f o r g e t t i n g , but t h e s o u l ' s f o r g e t t i n g of i t s f o r m e r u n i t y i s e m p h a s i z e d most o b v i o u s l y i n The Shadowy W a t e r s . P o r -p h y r y ' s cup of f o r g e t f u l n e s s i s b r o u g h t t o mind i n t h e p l a y by F o r g a e l ' s "Harp of F o r g e t f u l n e s s , " w h i c h he g e t s i n some v e r s i o n s from th e Fomor, the gods of d a r k n e s s , i n o t h e r s f r o m th e p o e t A l e e l , and i n s t i l l o t h e r s f r o m Aengus, t h e god of l i g h t . The p a r a l l e l to t h e cup of L e t h e i s most e x p l i c i t when, s e e k i n g t o d e s t r o y D e c t o r a ' s memories b o t h o f h e r l o v e r A l e e l and of Aengus and t h e gods of l i g h t , F o r g a e l p l a y s on t h e h a r p and s i n g s , 0 l o v e be f o r g o t t e n as t h e s o u l f o r g e t s The s p i r i t when t h e body overwhelms i t and 0 b r i g h t gods be f o r g o t t e n as you A r e f o r g o t t e n when the s o u l e n t e r s t h e w o r l d . (DrC 65) F o r g a e l i s a m o r t a l , t h o u g h a h a l f - g o d , who has been d e p r i v e d of t h e e f f e c t of t h e cup of f o r g e t f u l n e s s by b e i n g g r a n t e d a wisdom g e n e r a l l y d e n i e d men. T h i s wisdom t e a c h e s him two t r u t h s t h a t o t h e r men b l i s s f u l l y f o r g e t when t h e y e n t e r t h e i r b o d i e s . The f i r s t i s t h a t l i f e , as we have s e e n , c o n s t i t u t e s a s e p a r a t i o n from one's own s p i r i t , and i s a mere p a s s i n g of t i m e u n t i l t h e s o u l can be r e u n i t e d w i t h i t s e l f . T h i s i s t h e same s e c r e t w h i c h Owen Aherne l e a r n s i n 132 "The T a b l e s of t h e Law," to h i s u n e n d i n g d e s p a i r : ^ " I have s e e n t h e whole, and how can I come a g a i n to b e l i e v e t h a t a p a r t i s t h e whole? I have l o s t my s o u l b e c a u s e I have l o o k e d out of t h e eyes of t h e a n g e l s " (M 3 0 6 ) . L i k e Aherne. F o r g a e l can f i n d no meaning i n l i f e , f o r , as he u n d e r s t a n d s i t , t h e l o v e s , p a i n s and memories o f t h e w o r l d a r e i n v a i n , f o r t h e w o r l d was c r e a t e d i n v a i n as an e s c a p e from t h e s p i r i t , and a l l of l i f e i s but a dance to f o r g e t t h e l o n e -l i n e s s of t h e s e p a r a t e d s p i r i t . He c r i e s , The l i f e of man i s a mere days f l i g h t from h i s own S p i r i t , t h e l i f e of gods i s a f l i g h t f r o m t h e i r own S p i r i t s , ( a l l ) t h i n g s t h e m o u n t a i n s and t h e se a s and b e a s t s and t h e f l o w e r s and the f r u i t s w i t h t h e i r c o u n t l e s s [?] shapes and a l l t h e r a c e s o f men have t a k e n t h e i r shapes and t h e i r c o l o u r s and danced t h e i r s t o r y danced t h a t t h e y might f o r a moment f o r g e t now and a g a i n f o r g e t t h e l o n e l i n e s s o f S p i r i t . I t was i n f l i g h t t h a t t h e w o r l d r u s h e d from the p r o t e c t i o n o f t h e mother o r [maker?] o f t h e gods. (Tower of P o l i s h e d B l a c k S t o n e s 21-22) F o r g a e l has been shown n o t so much t h a t l i f e i s i n v a i n as t h a t i t i s m e r e l y i l l u s i o n , a s e r i e s of images w h i c h man T h e r e a r e i n d e e d many s i m i l a r i t i e s between A h e r n e and F o r g a e l ; t h e f o r m e r i s d e s c r i b e d i n words w h i c h p e r f e c t l y f i t t h e l a t t e r : "He had t h e n a t u r e , w h i c h i s h a l f monk, h a l f s o l d i e r o f f o r t u n e , and must needs t u r n a c t i o n i n t o d r e a m i n g , and d r e a m i n g i n t o a c t i o n ; and f o r s u c h t h e r e i s no o r d e r , no f i n a l i t y , no c o n t e n t m e n t i n t h e w o r l d " (M 294) 133 m i s t a k e s f o r t h e t r u t h ; i t i s t h e "dream" from w h i c h t h e Wise Man awakes at t h e end of The H o u r - G l a s s . The s e c o n d t r u t h r e v e a l e d to F o r g a e l , w h i c h deepens h i s d e s p a i r , i s t h a t many a g e s , many s u c c e s s i v e , i n t e r m i n a b l e l i v e s s e p a r a t e man from t h e end, and t h u s from t h e r e s t from p u r s u i t . The Shadowy Waters f o c u s e s on w a i t i n g , k i l l i n g t i m e , and f o r g e t t i n g . A l l t h e gods and men who s u r r o u n d F o r g a e l engage i n v a r i o u s forms of f o r g e t t i n g . The Fomor p a s s t h e ti m e by p i l l a g i n g , and ur g e F o r g a e l t o do t h e same: L o o s e n t h e g r e y s a i l s out upon t h e winds And overwhelm w h i t e c i t i e s and f o r g e t . . . . (TPBS 6) The s a i l o r s a r e l u l l e d t o s l e e p by t h e h a r p of f o r g e t f u l n e s s , t h r o u g h A m u s i c t h a t can q u e l l a l l e l e m e n t s And c r e a t u r e s and make memory l i e down A s l e e p under a p u r p l e c o v e r l e t Of i n d o l e n t dreams. (TPBS 13) D e c t o r a and A l e e l p a s s t h e t i m e by d r e a m i n g and l o v i n g (we ar e r e m i n d e d of Y e a t s ' s s t a t e m e n t i n "The Man and t h e E c h o " t h a t " W h i l e man can s t i l l h i s body keep / Wine or l o v e d r u g him t o s l e e p " (VE 6 3 3 ) ) ; t h a t t h e i r l o v e i s j u s t a n o t h e r way of f o r g e t t i n g i s s i g n a l l e d by t h e f a c t t h a t A l e e l i n more t h a n one pre-1900 v e r s i o n of t h e p l a y charms D e c t o r a i n t o l o v i n g him by p l a y i n g t h r e e n o t e s on t h e magic h a r p (TPBS 1 2 ) . The Danaans, who a r e s u p p o s e d l y above t h e e l e m e n t s i n most of the v e r s i o n s , k i l l t i m e by d a n c i n g : "They s t i l l dance upon 134 t h e m o u n t a i n t o p s / And s i n g i n t h e deep v a l l e y and f o r -g e t . .. " (DrC 1 4 9 ) . Even Aengus h i m s e l f , i n some v e r s i o n s of the p l a y , l u l l s h i m s e l f i n t o t h i s same f o r g e t f u l n e s s t h r o u g h a s e r i e s of l a n g o u r o u s dreams (DrC 2 4 6 ) . F o r g a e l a l o n e i s d e n i e d f o r g e t f u l n e s s . He can n e i t h e r h a t e enough t o f i g h t l i k e t h e Fomor, n o r , t r y as he m i g h t , can he b e l i e v e i n h i s dreams l i k e Aengus. V a r i o u s e a r l y m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s f o c u s on F o r g a e l ' s e l a b o r a t e a t t e m p t s t o i n d u c e Danaan dreams i n h i m s e l f . In an e a r l y pre-1896 v e r -s i o n , f o r example, F o r g a e l o r d e r s t h e Fomor t o s t e a l a p p l e b l o s s o m s from Aengus's " i s l a n d of t h e young" (DrC 8 0 ) ; w i t h them he a t t e m p t s t o i n d u c e t h e s e dreams of f o r g e t f u l n e s s : (0 sweet odour of a p p l e b l o s s o m s , t h a t i s i n my n o s t r i l s , g i v e me some d i v i n e p a s s i o n s , some h a t r e d , some l o v e , t h a t I may f o r g e t how many me ages d i v i d e from t h e w h i t e s l e a p when a l l t h i n g s s h a l l have come t o an end. 0 g r a n t t h a t I may l o v e and h a t e l i k e t h e gods b e f o r e I d i e . & knew i e f g e t ^ a l a e s s ) ( s i c ) (DrC 82) In o t h e r p re-1900 v e r s i o n s he a t t e m p t s to i n d u c e t h e s e same dreams by l y i n g on c r u s h e d r o s e s w h i c h he has s t o l e n f r o m t h e I s l a n d of the Danaans; b u t , thou g h t h e s e dreams "do not awaken d e s i r e and u n q u i e t " (DrC 213) i n t h e Danaans, t h e y o n l y a r o u s e "shadows of d e s i r e : a p e a r l w h i t e hound" (DrC 142) i n F o r g a e l . Even F o r g a e l ' s c o u r t i n g of D e c t o r a i s , a t l e a s t on one l e v e l , m e r e l y a n o t h e r a t t e m p t t o f o r g e t ("he 135 f o r g e t s h i s [ l o n e l i n e s s ] when he l o o k s a t h e r " [ D e c t o r a ] ) , (TPBS 4 8 ) , and i t i s o n l y i n t h e f i n a l v e r s i o n s , when Y e a t s was t r y i n g to s i m p l i f y h i s p l a y , t h a t F o r g a e l ' s m o t i v a t i o n a c t u a l l y becomes a q u e s t f o r l o v e . I t i s t h u s f i t t i n g t h a t F o r g a e l s h o u l d be so o b s e s s e d w i t h t h e d e s t r u c t i o n of c r e a -t i o n , but i t s h o u l d n e v e r t h e l e s s be n o t e d t h a t he s a i l s w i t h "The t i l l e r " s w a y i n g " l i s t l e s s l y ... / above h i s h e a d " (DrC 123) towards t h e end of t h e w o r l d : h i s s o r r o w s a r e as l o u d h i s g a l l e y d r i f t s As any marsh b i r d , & he heads h i s ( s i c ) Among t h e empty waves where t h e w o r l d ends. (DrC 87) The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n a l s o f o c u s e s on f o r g e t t i n g . O i s i n e s c a p e s t h e w o r l d , w i t h i t s memories of s o r r o w and p a i n , to f o l l o w h i s i d e a l l o v e , Niamh, t o t h r e e d i f f e r e n t f a e r y w o r l d s . He d i s c o v e r s , not t h e s p i r i t u a l p a r a d i s e he was e x p e c t i n g , b u t i n s t e a d t h r e e d i f f e r e n t t y p e s of dan c e s t h a t t h e d i s e m b o d i e d s p i r i t s engage i n to f o r g e t . The f i r s t i s l a n d , t h e I s l e o f D a n c i n g , i s t h e kingdom o f l i g h t o f t h e T u a t h a de Danaan, t h e l a n d of p e r f e c t e d s p i r i t s who r u n t o g e t h e r and s i n g t o g e t h e r i n p e r f e c t harmony. But t h o u g h i t s i n h a b i t a n t s c o n t i n u a l l y dance and c e l e b r a t e , t h e r e i s no d i s c e r n i b l e m o t i v e f o r t h e i r ' r e v e l r y . I n d e e d , when O i s i n p i c k s up a h a r p t o s i n g of t h e j o y s of t h e human w o r l d , t h e y a r e overcome by i n t e n s e s o r r o w and can o n l y r i d t h e m s e l v e s 136 of i t by t a k i n g h i s h a r p and t h r o w i n g i t away. " T h i n g s t h a t have grown sad a r e w i c k e d " (V_E 2 0 ) , t h e y c r y , and p l u n g e i n t o r e v e l r y once more. Aengus e x h o r t s them to be j o y f u l , f o r " ' j o y . i s God and God i s j o y ' " (VE 1 9 ) , but he h i m s e l f dreams and f o r g e t s . T h i s w o r l d c a n n o t s t i l l O i s i n ' s memories f o r l o n g , and he grows n o s t a l g i c f o r t h e w o r l d of t i m e , as he r e c o u n t s to S t . P a t r i c k : When one day by t h e t i d e I s t o o d , I f o u n d i n t h a t f o r g e t f u l n e s s Of dreamy foam a s t a f f of wood From some dead w a r r i o r ' s b r o k e n l a n c e : I t u r n e d i t i n my hands; t h e s t a i n s Of war were on i t , and I wept, Remembering how t h e F e n i a n s s t e p t A l o n g t h e b l o o d - b e d a b b l e d p l a i n s , E q u a l t o good or g r i e v o u s c h a n c e . (VE 24) Niamh now t a k e s him to a w o r l d of u n e n d i n g b a t t l e s , "an i s l a n d of e n d l e s s b a t t l e f o r an o b j e c t n e v e r a c h i e v e d " (VP1 9 3 2 ) , but t h i s i s l a n d i s worse s t i l l , f o r i t i s but a p a r o d y of l i f e w i t h i n c r e a t i o n , w i t h i t s c o n s t a n t c o n f l i c t between u n r e c o n c i l a b l e o p p o s i t e s . O i s i n f i g h t s f o r a h u n d r e d y e a r s w i t h t h e same god; t h e y f i g h t , t h e god d i e s , O i s i n r e s t s , t h e god r e a p p e a r s , and t h e y must b e g i n once a g a i n . T h i s e p i s o d e i s i n f a c t r e m i n i s c e n t of The H e m e ' s Egg, a l s o i n many ways a p a r o d y b o t h of human l i f e and of men's a s p i r a -t i o n s . The p l a y opens to t h e sound of f i g h t i n g ; i t i s t h e f i f t i e t h b a t t l e between K i n g C o n g a l and K i n g Aedh, but t h e y a r e so e v e n l y matched t h a t t h e y e x p e c t to f i g h t f i f t y more. 137 Only a t t h e end of t h e p l a y does C o n g a l r e a l i z e t h e u t t e r u s e l e s s n e s s of i t a l l , and t e l l s t h e F o o l , Never be a s o l d i e r , Tom; Though i t b e g i n s w e l l , i s t h i s a l i f e ? I f t h i s i s a man's l i f e , i s t h e r e any l i f e But a dog's l i f e ? (VP1 1038) The t h i r d i s l a n d , " t h e I s l a n d of F o r g e t f u l n e s s , " i s t h e most h o r r i f y i n g of a l l , f o r t h e r e a l l p r e t e n s e i s abandoned: i t i s p o p u l a t e d by g r o t e s q u e b e i n g s who s l e e p away e t e r n i t y i n o r d e r to dream and f o r g e t . Niamh and O i s i n l i e down b e s i d e them and f a l l a s l e e p i n t h e i r t u r n ; s a y s O i s i n , "gone l i k e a s e a - c o v e r e d s t o n e / Were t h e memories of t h e whole of my s o r r o w and t h e memories of a l l of my m i r t h . . . " (VE 5 2 ) . As t h e y wander from one i s l a n d t o a n o t h e r , N i a m h , tho u g h she, u n l i k e O i s i n , has no memories w i t h w h i c h to c o n t r a s t t h e s e i s l a n d s , grows g r a d u a l l y more s o r r o w f u l , and when O i s i n a s k s h e r "and w h i c h of t h e s e / Is t h e I s l a n d of C o n t e n t ? " , she weeps and a nswers, "None know" (VE_ 4 6 ) . F a r from b e i n g t h e p a r a d i s e of i m m o r t a l s ( t h o u g h u n a c c o u n t a b l y u n d e r s t o o d by many c r i t i c s as a p a r a d i s e w h i c h O i s i n i s too g r o s s l y m o r t a l to a p p r e c i a t e ) , t h e s e i s l a n d s a r e m e r e l y v a r i a t i o n s of m o r t a l l i f e and of t h e many l i v e s men w i l l have to endure b e f o r e t h e end of c r e a t i o n , w h i l e t h e dances of f o r g e t t i n g engaged i n by i m m o r t a l s a r e m e r e l y v a r i a t i o n s of O i s i n ' s own a t t e m p t s to e s c a p e h i s memories. Y e a t s even c o n f e s s e d i n t h e n o t e s to 138 The R e s u r r e c t i o n , many y e a r s l a t e r , "How h a r d i t was to r e f r a i n from p o i n t i n g out t h a t O i s i n a f t e r o l d age ... would p a s s i n d e a t h o v e r a n o t h e r s e a to a n o t h e r i s l a n d " (VP1 9 3 2 ) . O i s i n r e m a i n s i n each i s l a n d one h u n d r e d y e a r s , and a l w a y s h i s memories, though of t h e s a d n e s s of t h e w o r l d , " t h e a n c i e n t s a d n e s s o f man" (VE 5 4 ) , c a l l him b a c k , o r f o r c e him to move on. F i n a l l y , he s a y s , "Remembrance, l i f t i n g h e r l e a n n e s s , keened i n t h e g a t e s of my h e a r t " (VE 5 2 ) , and he i s c o m p e l l e d t o l e a v e Niamh and r e t u r n to I r e l a n d . The f a e r y w o r l d s a r e as r i d d l e d w i t h u n f u l f i l l e d d e s i r e as i s t h e m o r t a l w o r l d , and Niamh and O i s i n c o n s t a n t l y e n c o u n t e r " f l e e t i n g phantoms of d e s i r e , " t h e hound c h a s i n g th e d e e r , t h e young man c h a s i n g t h e woman w i t h a g o l d e n a p p l e i n h e r hand. Y e a t s e q u a t e s t h e s e phantoms w i t h t h o s e s e e n by R o u s s e a u , i n S h e l l e y ' s The Triumph of L i f e , a f t e r t h e M o r n i n g S t a r g i v e s him t h e d r i n k of o b l i v i o n ( t h e winecup of L e t h e once a g a i n ) w h i c h r e t u r n s him t o l i f e : "He d r i n k s and h i s mind becomes l i k e sand 'or d e s e r t L a b r a d o r , ' marked by t h e f e e t of d e e r and w o l f " (E & I 8 9 ) . Y e a t s c o n t i n u e s , B e c a u s e t h e w o l f i s but a more v i o l e n t symbol of l o n g i n g and d e s i r e t h a n t h e hound, h i s w o l f and d e e r r e m i n d me of t h e hound and d e e r t h a t O i s i n saw i n t h e G a e l i c poem c h a s i n g one a n o t h e r . (E & I 89-90) A l l t h a t i s l e f t once th e memory of S e l f i s gone i s a vague d e s i r e , w h i c h d e f i n e s l i f e ; i t i s a d e s i r e f o r what the s p i r i t l o s t a t c r e a t i o n , b ut t a k e s on v a r i o u s g u i s e s , a l l 139 i l l u s i o n , as t h e s p i r i t c h a s e s i t t h r o u g h t h e r e a l m s o f t i m e and s p a c e . The l o n g i n g f o r i m m o r t a l i t y , or t h e d e s i r e f o r t h e l o v e of i m m o r t a l s w h i c h i s m a n i f e s t e d by O i s i n , by F o r g a e l i n some v e r s i o n s of The Shadowy W a t e r s , and by C u c h u l a i n , seems a vague memory of man's r i g h t f u l s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n . T h i s seems to be Y e a t s ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of d e s i r e , w h i c h he b a s e d on an o f t - q u o t e d p a s s a g e by L e o n a r d o da V i n c i : t h i s l o n g i n g i s i n i t s q u i n t e s s e n c e t h e S p i r i t of the e l e m e n t s , w h i c h f i n d i n g i t s e l f i m p r i s o n e d w i t h i n t h e l i f e of t h e human body d e s i r e s c o n -t i n u a l l y to r e t u r n to i t s s o u r c e . . . . (Memoirs 8 8 n. 3) C u c h u l a i n ' s m e e t i n g w i t h Fand i n The On l y J e a l o u s y of Emer, at l e a s t on one l e v e l , c e r t a i n l y b a c k s t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h i s m e e t i n g , w h i c h i s s e t i n some r e g i o n o u t s i d e t i m e , f u n c t i o n s on a number of l e v e l s , as p r o o f t h a t Y e a t s c o u l d i n d e e d t r a n s m i t more of h i s complex p h i l o s o p h i c v i e w s t h r o u g h v e r s e and r i t u a l t h a n t h r o u g h a b s t r a c t t h o u g h t , and memories of C u c h u l a i n ' s p r e - n a t a l and e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e s f i g u r e p r o m i n e n t l y i n them. On one l e v e l C u c h u l a i n i s m e r e l y d r e a m i n g , but a dream so p o w e r f u l t h a t h i s w i f e Emer can a c t u a l l y v i s u a l i z e i t u n f o l d i n g b e f o r e h e r . T h i s i s a r e - e n a c t m e n t of Y e a t s ' s poem "An Image from A P a s t L i f e , " i n w h i c h t h e w i f e s e e s t h e 140 i m a g e - r i v a l w h i c h h a u n t s h e r husband i n dreams, t h o u g h he f o r g e t s t h e image i n h i s waking s t a t e . She c r i e s , A s w e e t h e a r t from a n o t h e r l i f e f l o a t s t h e r e As t h o u g h she had been f o r c e d t o l i n g e r From vague d i s t r e s s Or a r r o g a n t l o v e l i n e s s , (VE 390) In The Only J e a l o u s y t h e dream image, Fand, who has h a u n t e d C u c h u l a i n a l l h i s l i f e (as can. be g a t h e r e d from Lady G r e g o r y ' s C u c h u l a i n of Muithemne), i s more r e a l to C u c h u l a i n t h a n e i t h e r h i s w i f e or h i s m i s t r e s s ; h e r h a u n t -i n g may w e l l e x p l a i n h i s waking d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h m o r t a l women and t h u s h i s r o v i n g f r o m one t o a n o t h e r . Fand r e m i n d s him of t h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n , s a y i n g , But what c o u l d make you f i t to w i v e W i t h f l e s h and b l o o d , b e i n g b o r n to l i v e Where no one s p e a k s of b r o k e n t r o t h . (VP1 557) As i n t h e poem, Fand may i n f a c t be a l o v e r t h a t C u c h u l a i n remembers from a p a s t l i f e , f o r Y e a t s w r i t e s t h a t dream images, p a r t i c u l a r l y p a s s i o n a t e o nes, a r e drawn from memories of a s t a t e b e f o r e b i r t h , memories t h a t i t f o r g e t s i n i t s waking s t a t e . Y e a t s a c c o m p a n i e d t h i s poem w i t h e l a b o r a t e n o t e s , i n w h i c h he e x p l a i n e d t h a t " i n moments o f e x c i t e m e n t images p a s s from one mind t o a n o t h e r w i t h e x t r a o r d i n a r y e a s e , p e r -haps most e a s i l y f r o m t h a t p o r t i o n o f t h e mind w h i c h f o r the t i m e b e i n g i s o u t s i d e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " (V_E 8 2 3 ) . 141 S o u l s t h a t a r e once l i n k e d by e m o t i o n n e v e r c e a s e t i l l t h e l a s t d r o p of t h a t e m o t i o n i s ex-h a u s t e d — c a l l i t d e s i r e , h a t e or what you w i l l - -to a f f e c t one a n o t h e r ... t h i s i d e a l form becomes to t h e l i v i n g man an o b s e s s i o n , c o n t i n u a l l y p e r -p l e x i n g and f r u s t r a t i n g n a t u r a l i n s t i n c t . (VE 822-3) Though i n h i s dream C u c h u l a i n remembers h i s s p i r i t - l o v e r , by i m p l i c a t i o n he i s a l s o remembering, as must Aengus i n h i s dreams, h i s o t h e r S e l f b e f o r e t i m e and s e p a r a t i o n . T h e r e i s a p a r a l l e l s i t u a t i o n i n The K i n g of t h e G r e a t C l o c k Tower where t h e s t r o l l e r , t hough he i s e n c a s e d i n a g r o s s b o d i l y form and has f o r g o t t e n h i s o r i g i n , ^ s e e k s out t h e queen from out of t i m e , h i s B e l o v e d , and demands u n i o n w i t h h e r . When he i s d e c a p i t a t e d , t h e queen moves b e f o r e him i n a dance w h i c h s y m b o l i z e s t h e i r u n i o n , and h i s s o u l , r e u n i t e d w i t h i t s h i g h e r s e l f , b e g i n s to s i n g . Fand's dance b e f o r e C u c h u l a i n s h o u l d have t h e same meaning, e x c e p t t h a t C u c h u l a i n , b e c a u s e more s t r o n g l y a t t a c h e d to t h i s w o r l d t h a n i s t h e s t r o l l e r , and b e c a u s e h i s t r u e o p p o s i t e or daimon, now t h a t t h e B e l o v e d i s w i t h i n r e a c h , has become B r i c r i u , must r e j e c t Fand and t h u s t h e c o m p l e t i o n s y m b o l i z e d by t h e d a n c e . The image of t h e " c o l d i n t o x i c a t i n g cup" as a symbol of f o r g e t t i n g r e c u r s i n Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g and i n The C f . F. A. C. W i l s o n ' s d i s c u s s i o n of t h e p l a y i n Y e a t s  and T r a d i t i o n , p p . 70-1: "The S t r o l l e r s y m b o l i s e s s p i r i t i n i t s f a l l e n c o n d i t i o n ... but s p i r i t w h i c h i s n e v e r t h e l e s s i n l o v e w i t h and b e l o v e d by t h e Mother of t h e Gods ( Y e a t s ' s Queen)." 142 U n i c o r n From the S t a r s , t h r o u g h t h e p s a l m " ' E t c a l i x meus i n e b r i a n s p r a e c l a r u s e s t ! ' How s p l e n d i d i s t h e cup of d r u n k e n n e s s ' " (VF1 1106), w h i c h i s one of t h e l e i t m o t i f s of t h e p l a y s . The p s a l m i s f i r s t used i n U n i c o r n by F a t h e r John i n r e f e r e n c e to M a r t i n ' s v i s i o n of t h e o t h e r w o r l d , t h e f i r s t h a l f of w h i c h M a r t i n remembers c o m p l e t e l y . In t h i s v i s i o n M a r t i n s ees a number of u n i c o r n s [ t h e s o u l , w r i t e s Y e a t s i n a l e t t e r (L_ 286)] who b e g i n t o t r a m p l e on g r a p e s , and i t i s h e r e t h a t h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n f a i l s him: " I s m e l t t h e wine, i t was f l o w i n g on e v e r y s i d e - - t h e n e v e r y t h i n g grew vague. I c a n n o t remember c l e a r l y , e v e r y t h i n g was s i l e n t " (CP1 337). M a r t i n s l o w l y r e c o v e r s h i s memory of t h e v i s i o n , a l i t t l e a t a t i m e , t h r o u g h o u t th e p l a y , and f i n a l l y remem-b e r s i t i n i t s e n t i r e t y s h o r t l y b e f o r e h i s d e a t h . I t - c a n t h u s be u n d e r s t o o d on one l e v e l as a symbol of t h e s p i r i t ' s l o s s of memory of i t s s p i r i t u a l n a t u r e at b i r t h , w h i c h i t s t r u g g l e s to remember t h r o u g h i t s c y c l e on e a r t h . However, i n an i r o n i c t w i s t s i m i l a r to Y e a t s ' s use of t h e c r e a t i o n myths i n t h e p l a y s , t h e cup of L e t h e i n t h e s e p l a y s much more o b v i o u s l y r e p r e s e n t s , not t h e cup of g e n e r a t i o n , s i g -n i f y i n g t h e s p i r i t ' s e n t r a n c e i n t o l i f e , b u t d r u n k e n n e s s , as a means of e s c a p i n g or f o r g e t t i n g t h e p a i n and s o r r o w of l i f e . D r u n k e n n e s s i s a v i r t u e t o u t e d b o t h by P a u l R u t t l e d g e and by M a r t i n and Thomas Hearne, f o r i t f r e e s men f r o m t h e i r m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n , however, t e m p o r a r i l y , and l i f t s t h e i r h e a r t s " t o t h e s t a r s " (VP1 351). 143 In f a c t , t h e theme of f o r g e t t i n g i s l i n k e d i n most of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s , as i n The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n , more t o t h e f o r g e t t i n g of t h e p a i n f u l memories of t h i s l i f e , t h a n to t h e s o u l ' s f o r g e t t i n g of i t s d i v i n i t y . When h i s p r o t a g o n i s t s a r e not s e e k i n g a c t i v e l y to d e s t r o y t h e w o r l d and a l l of c r e a -t i o n , t h e y a r e more o f t e n t h a n not s e e k i n g t o e s c a p e , by one means or a n o t h e r , t h e b u r d e n of t h e i r m o r t a l memories. T h i s i s v e r y o b v i o u s i n The C o u n t e s s Cat t i l e en w h i c h , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e v e r s i o n s o f 1895 and a f t e r , c e n t r e s on t h e theme of f o r g e t t i n g . Memories r e i n f o r c e t h e p r e d i c a m e n t of t h e i n c a r n a t e s p i r i t , f o r i t has t o b a l a n c e vague, u n s p e c i f i e d l o n g i n g s w h i c h c a n n o t be s a t i s f i e d i n t h i s w o r l d w i t h i t s memories, w h i c h a t t a c h a l l men, o f t e n d e s p i t e t h e m s e l v e s , t o t h e w o r l d of c o n f l i c t , of good and e v i l . T h i s i s s t a t e d most e x p l i c i t l y by t h e D e v i l s i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , who prom-i s e f r e e d o m from c o n f l i c t and from t h e c a r e s of t h e w o r l d i n exchange f o r t h e s o u l s of men. They p r o m i s e Wine t h a t can hush a s l e e p t h e p e t t y war Of good and e v i l , and awake i n s t e a d A s c e n t e d f l a m e f l i c k e r i n g above t h a t peace The b i r d of p r e y knows w e l l i n h i s deep h e a r t . (VP1 37) In a n o t h e r v e r s i o n t h e i r p r o m i s e i s even more a p p e a l i n g , f o r t h e y c o n t r a s t t h e p e a c e t h a t t h e y o f f e r , and t h a t t h e y c l a i m a l l d i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s , w hether good or e v i l i n l i f e , have a t t a i n e d , w i t h t h e t u m u l t of t h e w o r l d : 144 Is t h a t peace Known to t h e b i r d s of p r e y so d r e a d a t h i n g ? They, and t h e s o u l s o b e d i e n t t o our m a s t e r , And t h o s e who l i v e w i t h t h a t g r e a t o t h e r S p i r i t Have g a i n e d an end, a p e a c e , w h i l e you but t o s s And swing upon a moving b a l a n c e beam. (VP1 239, v v . 1895-1908) The m e r c h a n t s ' o f f e r i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n seems a l l t h e more a t t r a c t i v e b e c a u s e t h e b u r d e n s of t h e w o r l d a r e so on e r o u s t h a t e v e r y o n e , i n c l u d i n g C a t h l e e n , has been a t t e m p t -i n g to f o r g e t them r i g h t from t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e p l a y . When t h e p l a y opens C a t h l e e n , on h e r d o c t o r ' s a d v i c e , i s r e t r e a t i n g from t h e w o r l d t o h e r c a s t l e : " I was b i d f l y t h e t e r r o r of t h e s e t i m e s / And wrap me round w i t h music and sweet song / Or e l s e p i n e to my g r a v e " (VP1 2 1 ) . Her c a s t l e seems t o o f f e r t h e peace and f o r g e t f u l n e s s t h a t t h e d e v i l s o f f e r t h e p e a s a n t s , f o r i t i s "A p l a c e t h a t ' s s e t among i m p a s s a b l e w a l l s / As though t h e w o r l d ' s t r o u b l e c o u l d n o t f i n d i t o u t " (VP1 1 7 ) . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , C a t h l e e n has d i f f i -c u l t y i n f i n d i n g h e r c a s t l e , and f i n d s i n s t e a d f a m i n e and f e a r "Where I had t h o u g h t I would f i n d n o t h i n g c h a n g e d " (VP1 1 9 ) . C a t h l e e n now t u r n s t o s l e e p , t o dreams, t o t h e songs o f f e r e d by t h e poet A l e e l i n t h e s e a r c h f o r f o r g e t f u l n e s s . When A l e e l t e l l s h er a s t o r y about t h e t r o u b l e s of t h e S i d h e goddess Maeve, C a t h l e e n s a y s , "She'd s l e e p t h a t t r o u b l e away ... / I f she had b e t t e r s e n s e " (VP1 5 5 ) . S l e e p , l i k e 145 t h e s l e e p o f f o r g e t f u l n e s s of t h e t h i r d i s l a n d of The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n , i s c o n s t a n t l y b r o u g h t up i n t h e l a t e r v e r s i o n s of t h i s p l a y t h r o u g h Oona, C a t h l e e n ' s g u a r d i a n , who u r g e s C a t h l e e n t o s l e e p u n t i l t h e p r o b l e m s a r e o v e r and i s c o n t i n u a l l y g r a t e f u l f o r t h e s l e e p and f o r g e t f u l n e s s of o l d age. The b a r d A l e e l s e t s l i t t l e s t o r e by memory, and t r i e s by v a r i o u s means t o get C a t h l e e n t o f o r g e t h e r s : What's memory but a s h T hat chokes our f i r e s t h a t have begun t o s i n k ? And t h e y ' v e [ t h e s p i r i t s ] a d i z z y , e v e r l a s t i n g f i r e . (VP1 57) In some v e r s i o n s he even has a h a r p w h i c h he u s e s , as F o r g a e l and A l e e l d i d i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , to weave dreams of l o v e and f o r g e t t i n g . C a t h l e e n i s a l m o s t s e d u c e d , and i s tempted t o e s c a p e w i t h him and h i s h a r p to F a e r y l a n d , to " d w e l l among th e S i d h e / In t h e i r o l d e v e r - b u s y honeyed l a n d " (VP1 62) . A l e e l a l s o o f f e r s C a t h l e e n h i s l o v e , and i t i s t h i s t h a t tempts h e r most of a l l t o f o r g e t h e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to t h e w e l f a r e of t h e p e a s a n t s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , she f i n a l l y c h o o s e s t o f a c e t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , p r o t e s t i n g t h a t she i s t i r e d of tympan and h a r p And t i r e d o f m usic t h a t but c r i e s s l e e p , s l e e p T i l l j o y and s o r r o w and hope and t e r r o r a r e gone. (VP1 53) 146 I I I . L e a r n i n g ( A c q u i r i n g Memories) W h i l e C a t h l e e n , l i k e O i s i n , i s s o r e l y tempted by t h e p r o m i s e of o b l i v i o n , she i s a l s o t o r n by a c o n t r a r y i m p u l s e , to c l i n g even t o t h e more p a i n f u l a s p e c t s of t h i s l i f e . T h i s v a c i l l a t i o n , between t h e d e s i r e t o e s c a p e l i f e , and t h e knowledge t h a t what men p r i z e t h e most i s p a r t and p a r c e l of t h e m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n , i s a r t i c u l a t e d by two m u s i c i a n s i n d i s c a r d e d o p e n i n g l y r i c s to The K i n g of t h e G r e a t C l o c k Tower, a p l a y about l i f e i n t i m e . W h i l e t h e f i r s t m u s i c i a n f e e l s v e r y d e e p l y t h e mockery t h a t i s t i m e and memory, and l o n g s f o r t h e s t r o k e of m i d n i g h t , a symbol i n t h i s p l a y f o r t h e end of t i m e , t h e s e c o n d m u s i c i a n u n d e r s t a n d s t h a t " A l l l o v e i s s h a c k l e d to m o r t a l i t y . " F i r s t M u s i c i a n : I w a i t u n t i l t h e tower g i v e s f o r t h t h e chime And dream of g h o s t s t h a t have t h e s p e e c h of b i r d s ; B ecause t h e y have no t h o u g h t s t h e y have no words; No t h o u g h t b e c a u s e no p a s t or f u t u r e ; Time Comes from t h e t o r t u r e of our f l e s h , and t h e s e , C a s t out by d e a t h and t e t h e r e d t h e r e by l o v e , Touch n e r v e to n e r v e t h r o u g h o u t t h e s a c r e d g r o v e And seem a s i n g l e c r e a t u r e when t h e y p l e a s e . Second M u s i c i a n : I c a l l t o mind the i r o n of t h e b e l l And g e t from t h a t my h a r s h e r i m a g e r y , A l l l o v e i s s h a c k l e d t o m o r t a l i t y , L o v e ' s image i s a man at arms i n s t e e l ; L o v e ' s image i s a woman made of s t o n e ; I t dreams of t h e u n b o r n ; a l l e l s e i s n o u g h t ; Tomorrow and tomorrow f i l l s i t s t h o u g h t ; A l l t e n d e r n e s s r e s e r v e s f o r t h a t a l o n e . ' ^Quoted i n Wade, L e t t e r s , p. 817 147 The s p i r i t b e g i n s t o a c q u i r e i t s t e m p o r a l memories, t h e r e c o r d of i t s a c t i o n s and p a s s i o n s , as soon as i t e n t e r s t h i s l i f e , and i t s main t a s k i n t h i s l i f e , and t h e n i n t h e s t a t e i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g i t , i s t o l e a r n from t h e s e memories, to a c c e p t them f u l l y , and t h e n to r e l e a s e them. As Y e a t s w r o t e i n t h e n o t e s to The R e s u r r e c t i o n , even though we t h i n k t e m p o r a l e x i s t e n c e i l l u -s i o n a r y i t c a n n o t be c a p r i c i o u s ; i t i s what P l o t i n u s c a l l s t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a c t o f t h e s o u l and must r e f l e c t t h e s o u l ' s c o h e r e n c e . (VP1 934) These memories w h i c h , as Y e a t s a r g u e s i n h i s more o p t i m i s t i c p l a y s , c o n s t i t u t e one o f t h e main r e a s o n s f o r l i v i n g , f i g u r e p r o m i n e n t l y b o t h as a b l e s s i n g and as a c u r s e i n Y e a t s ' s drama. T h r o u g h them Y e a t s works i n t o t h e p l a y what R i c h a r d E l l m a n n d e s c r i b e s as t h e two f o r c e s he had a l w a y s seen a t work i n t h e w o r l d , t h e one r e g a r d i n g r e a l i t y as t e m p o r a r y , p r o v i s i o n a l , t i d a l , t h e o t h e r r e g a r d i n g i t as h i v e - or n e s t - l i k e , t e n a c i o u s l a s t i n g . " L e t a l l t h i n g s p a s s away," s a y s a w o r l d - c o n q u e r o r i n " V a c i l l a t i o n , " w h i l e i n A V i s i o n Y e a t s q u o t e s w i t h a p p r o v a l an impromptu song of I s e u l t S t u a r t , "0 L o r d , l e t s o m e t h i n g r e m a i n . The memories of l i f e a r e not a l t o g e t h e r d e s p i s e d by even t h o s e p r o t a g o n i s t s who, l i k e O i s i n , a t t e m p t t o e s c a p e them; the t i e s of l o v e , f o r example, l i k e D e c t o r a ' s l o v e f o r A l e e l i n The Shadowy W a t e r s , or A l e e l ' s l o v e f o r R. E l l m a n , , "At t h e Y e a t s e s , " New Y o r k Review of Books, p. 25. 148 C a t h l e e n i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n , a r e c l u n g t o t e n a c i o u s l y . Though D e i r d r e s a y s , n e a r t h e end of h e r l i f e , t h a t she knows n o t h i n g "but t h i s body, n o t h i n g / But t h a t o l d vehement, b e w i l d e r i n g k i s s " (VP1 3 7 6 ) , t h e f i r s t k i s s t h a t N a o i s e gave h e r , i t i s enough t o have made h e r t r a g i c l i f e w o r t h w h i l e . When t h e m u s i c i a n s s p e c u l a t e t h a t " t h o u g h you have s u f f e r e d a l l f o r mere l o v e ' s sake / You'd l i v e y o u r l i v e s a g a i n , " D e i r d r e a n s w e r s , "Even t h i s l a s t h o u r " (VP1 378). In t h e same way, O i s i n i s c a l l e d back t o I r e l a n d n ot m e r e l y by sad memories, but by h i s l o v e f o r t h e F e n i a n s . In th e end he even t e l l s S t . P a t r i c k t h a t he would r e n o u n c e heaven r a t h e r t h a n be s e p a r a t e d from h i s companions a f t e r d e a t h . D i s c a r n a t e s p i r i t s , i n e n v y i n g men t h e i r memories, l o n g f o r what g i v e s men t h e most p a i n , p e r h a p s , but a l s o l o v e and p a s s i o n . W i t h words t h a t c o u l d e a s i l y be spoken by any o f the i m m o r t a l s who a r e a t t r a c t e d t o m o r t a l s i n t h e p l a y s , a f a e r y e x p l a i n s t o Hanrahan i n "The S e c r e t Rose" why she l o v e s him: I have l o v e d you from t h e n i g h t I saw you l y i n g on the Grey R a t h , and saw you t u r n i n g from s i d e to s i d e , f o r t h e f i r e i n y o u r e a r t h would not l e t you r e s t . I l o v e you, f o r you a r e f i e r c e and p a s s i o n a t e and good and bad and not dim and wave-l i k e as a r e t h e p e o p l e of t h e S i d h e . ^ "The Book of t h e G r e a t D h o u l Hanrahan t h e Red," The  S e c r e t Rose (London: Lawrence and B u l l e n , 1897), pp. 138-9. 149 In The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l r e f e r e n c e s t o s p i r i t s who envy men t h e i r memories, and b e w a i l t h e i r own l a c k o f them. Thus we a r e t o l d t h e s t o r y o f Queen Maeve, a goddess of the S i d h e , who mourns e v e r y f u l l moon, no t f o r t h e d e a t h of t h e m o r t a l man she l o v e d n i n e c e n t u r i e s b e f o r e , but b e c a u s e she c a n n o t remember h i s name. "So she l o v e s t r u l y , " s a y s C a t h l e e n when she i s t o l d the s t o r y . Not so, answers A l e e l , f o r she "but wets h e r c h e e k s / Lady b e c a u s e she has f o r g o t h i s name" ( VP1 5 5 ) . In t h e same p l a y , t h e s o u l s o f t h e dead who c a r r y o f f C a t h l e e n ' s t r e a s u r e under d u r e s s i n e a r l y v e r s i o n s o f t h e p l a y , mourn t h a t t h e y won't remember tomorrow t h e i r bad c o n s c i e n c e of t o d a y : 1 s t S p i r i t : I ' l l n e v e r dance a n o t h e r s t e p , not one. 2nd S p i r i t : A r e a l l t h e t h o u s a n d y e a r s of d a n c i n g done? 3rd S p i r i t : How can we dance a f t e r so g r e a t a s o r r o w ? 4 t h S p i r i t : But how s h a l l we remember i t tomorrow? 5 t h S p i r i t : To t h i n k of a l l the t h i n g s t h a t we f o r g e t . 6 t h S p i r i t : T h a t ' s why we g r o a n and why our l i d s a r e wet. (VP1 12 7) Memory can be u n d e r s t o o d as a metaphor f o r l i f e i n t h i s w o r l d , w i t h i t s i n e s c a p a b l e j o y and p a i n . Many men, Y e a t s e m p h a s i z e s , a r e , u n l i k e t h e s a i n t s and p o e t s of t h i s w o r l d , q u i t e s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e " d a n c e " of t h i s l i f e , w i t h t h e j o y s of home, h e a r t h and c h i l d r e n . Thus A i b r i c p l e a d s w i t h F o r g a e l to r e t u r n home t o "be some f a i r woman's f r i e n d " and " l i v e l i k e o t h e r men" (VP1 3 2 1 ) , w h i l e i n On B a i l e ' s S t r a n d C u c h u l a i n i s u r g e d by h i s companions to abandon h i s r e c k l e s s ways " t o l i v e i n c o m f o r t " (VP1 5 1 2 ) , t o s e t t l e down w i t h 150 w i f e and c h i l d r e n . The m u s i c i a n s a t t h e end of At The Hawk's  W e l l s i n g , 'The man t h a t I p r a i s e , ' C r i e s out t h e l e a f l e s s t r e e , 'Has m a r r i e d and s t a y s By an o l d h e a r t h , and he On naught has s e t s t o r e But c h i l d r e n and dogs on t h e f l o o r . Who but an i d i o t would p r a i s e A w i t h e r e d t r e e ? (VP1 413-4) The i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t i t i s d a n g e r o u s and f o o l h a r d y to a t t e m p t a d i f f e r e n t l i f e from t h a t meant f o r human b e i n g s , to s e a r c h f o r a knowledge beyond t h e . r e a l m of m o r t a l i t y . The r e w a r d s f o r t h o s e who s u c c e e d may be g r e a t , but t h e p e r i l s f o r t h o s e who, l i k e t h e Old Man i n At The Hawk's W e l l , do not s u c c e e d a r e even g r e a t e r . The man who b e s t e x e m p l i f i e s t h e a c c e p t a n c e of t h i s l i f e and i t s memories i s M a u r t e e n i n The Land o f H e a r t ' s D e s i r e who, by a c c e p t i n g h i s l o t , has p r o s p e r e d , as he h i m s e l f b o a s t s : have not F a t e and Time and Change Done w e l l f o r me and f o r o l d B r i d g e t h e r e ? T h i s i s t h e b e s t of l i f e ; (when we a r e young We l o n g to t r e a d a way none t r o d b e f o r e , But f i n d t h e e x c e l l e n t o l d way t h r o u g h l o v e , And t h r o u g h t h e c a r e of c h i l d r e n , t o t h e hour For b i d d i n g F a t e and Time and Change good-bye.) (VP1 190) The F a e r y C h i l d e x p l i c i t l y e q u a t e s h i s l i f e and memory, s a y i n g , 151 Your memories have made you w i s e , o l d f a t h e r ; The young must s i g h t h r o u g h many a dream and hope, But you a r e w i s e b e c a u s e y o u r h e a r t i s o l d . (VP1 188) F a e r y l a n d i s f r e e of memory, s a y s t h e C h i l d , " F o r we a r e but o b e d i e n t t o t h e t h o u g h t s / T h a t d r i f t i n t o mind a t a wink o f t h e e ye" (VP1 2 0 6 ) . T h i s i s what a t t r a c t s Mary to F a e r y l a n d f o r , l i k e F o r g a e l and l a t e r C u c h u l a i n , she f e e l s o p p r e s s e d by e v e r y t h i n g t h a t M a u r t e e n ' s l i f e r e p r e s e n t s ; he h a s , she s a y s , "A k i n d t o n g u e t o o f u l l of drowsy l o v e , / Of drowsy l o v e and my c a p t i v i t y " (VP1 1 9 2 ) . As Mary p r e p a r e s to l e a v e h e r home and f a m i l y t o j o u r n e y to F a e r y l a n d w i t h t h e C h i l d , h e r husband Shaun a t t e m p t s t o t r a p h e r i n t o s t a y i n g w i t h t h e b a i t of t h e i r memories t o g e t h e r , t h e same memories f o r w h i c h D e i r d r e would r e l i v e h e r sad l i f e . "Remember when I met you by t h e w e l l , " s a y s Shaun, "And t o o k y o u r hand i n mine and spoke of l o v e " (VP1 208). But t h i s l u r e i s not s t r o n g enough, and Mary e s c a p e s w i t h t h e F a e r y C h i l d . The i r o n y i n t h i s p l a y i s e v i d e n t ; t h e w o r l d of h e a r t h and home, f o r a l l t h a t i t i s recommended f o r most m o r t a l s i n th e p l a y s , i s a t r a p , and i t s a c c o m p a n y i n g memories a c u r s e t h a t Mary, l i k e t h e more s e n s i t i v e m o r t a l s , i s j u s t i f i e d i n t r y i n g to e s c a p e . The r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t t h i s l i f e and t h e s t r u g g l e t o e s c a p e i t s memories w h i c h i s d r a m a t i z e d i n one form or a n o t h e r i n most of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s i s c l e a r l y more v a l u a b l e t h a n t h e s i m p l e a c c e p t a n c e of i t d e m o n s t r a t e d by 152 M a u r t e e n . T h i s i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h Y e a t s ' s c o n t i n u i n g i n s i s -t e n c e t h a t c o n f l i c t i s n e c e s s a r y to l i f e and gr o w t h . As he w r o t e i n A V i s i o n , My i n s t r u c t o r s i d e n t i f y c o n s c i o u s n e s s w i t h c o n f l i c t , not w i t h knowledge [ M a u r t e e n ' s 'wisdom'], s u b s t i -t u t e f o r s u b j e c t and o b j e c t and t h e i r a t t e n d a n t l o g i c a s t r u g g l e towards harmony, towards U n i t y of B e i n g . (AV (B) 214) N e v e r t h e l e s s , most of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s a r g u e t h a t o u t r i g h t e s c a p e from t h e c a r e s of t h e w o r l d i s not t h e answer. Though e s c a p e i n i t s many v a r i a t i o n s , whether i n t h e form of F a e r y l a n d , or t h e l o v e of i m m o r t a l s , or t h e peace of o b l i v i o n , i s o f f e r e d to many of t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s i n t h e drama, i t i s shown to be i n a d e q u a t e i n a l l t h e p l a y s save p e r h a p s The Land of H e a r t ' s  D e s i r e . T hose who would e s c a p e must a c c e p t t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h a t c h o i c e , as i s v i v i d l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n The C o u n t e s s  C a t h l e e n by t h e example of t h e r o b b e r s who d i e s h o r t l y a f t e r s e l l i n g t h e i r s o u l s to t h e d e v i l s , and t h e r e f o r e do not r e a p even a b r i e f t e m p o r a l reward f o r t h e i r t r o u b l e . Those among Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s who a t t e m p t t o e s c a p e t h i s w o r l d do so at the r i s k of g a i n i n g , n ot r e l e a s e , b u t m e r e l y o b l i v i o n . T h i s i s so f o r O i s i n and f o r C a t h l e e n ; i t i s e q u a l l y so f o r C u c h u l a i n i n The On l y J e a l o u s y of Emer. On a s e c o n d l e v e l of t h e p l a y t h e m e e t i n g between C u c h u l a i n and Fand t a k e s p l a c e on t h e b o r d e r between t h i s w o r l d and t h e o t h e r w o r l d . 153 The f o c u s on t h i s l e v e l i s on Fand, on her a t t e m p t t o com-p l e t e h e r s e l f . C u c h u l a i n i s v e r y much a m o r t a l , t i e d to t h i s e a r t h by memories, w h i c h he i s r e l u c t a n t t o f o r g e t . When we f i r s t see him, he i s c r o u c h i n g on t h e f l o o r b e f o r e Fand, and when she a s k s , "What p u l l e d y o u r hands' about y o u r f e e t , / P u l l e d down y o u r head upon y o u r k n e e s , " he a n s w e r s , " O l d memories" (VP1 551-3 ) . He l o n g s to e s c a p e w i t h h e r and t h u s e s c a p e t h e s e memories of t h e son he has k i l l e d , of t h e woman whose t r u s t he has v i o l a t e d and many more, but he ca n n o t b r i n g h i m s e l f to do s o . Fand i s s u r p r i s e d by t h e s t r e n g t h of h i s memories, and t r i e s t o p e r s u a d e him t h a t he d e s e r v e s b e t t e r . In t h i s she r e s e m b l e s Niamh, who c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d why O i s i n i n s i s t s on t u r n i n g " h i s gaze / On t h e o l d s o r r o w s of h i s human d a y s " ( VE 2 9 ) . Fand t r i e s t o p e r s u a d e C u c h u l a i n to k i s s h e r , s t a t i n g t h a t h e r k i s s w i l l g r a n t him f r e e d o m from memory, and thu s f r e e d o m from h i s c o n s c i e n c e , from " I n t r i c a c i e s of b l i n d r e m o r s e . " She p r o m i s e s him " o b l i v i o n . " In t h e f i n a l v e r s i o n of t h e p l a y C u c h u l a i n g i v e s i n t o Fand, t h o u g h n o t w i t h o u t much h e s i t a t i o n , and i t i s up t o Emer, i n a s c e n e w h i c h g r e a t l y s t r e n g t h e n s t h e drama, t o save him from t h e c o n s e -quences of h i s d e c i s i o n . In e a r l y v e r s i o n s , however, C u c h u l a i n u n d e r s t a n d s t h e v a l u e of h i s memories, and thou g h he s y m p a t h i z e s w i t h Fand, s a y i n g , 154 How c o u l d you know That man i s h e l d t o t h o s e whom he has l o v e d By p a i n t h e y gave, or p a i n t h a t he has g i v e n I n t r i c a c i e s of p a i n he r e f u s e s to g i v e them up: What d r e a d so g r e a t as t h a t he s h o u l d f o r g e t The l e a s t c h ance s i g h t or sound, or s c r a t c h or mark On an o l d d o o r , or f r a i l b i r d h e a r d and s e e n In t h e i n c r e d i b l e c l e a r l i g h t l o v e c a s t A l l r ound about h e r some f o r l o r n l o s t day? (VP1 5 59) C u c h u l a i n t h u s r e f u s e s to k i s s Fand, and she i s about t o send him o f f t o Manannan ( t h e shadowy p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of f a t e i n t h e p l a y ) f o r punishment when Emer r e n o u n c e s h i s l o v e f o r h e r and b r e a k s Fand's h o l d on him, t h e r e b y r e l e a s i n g him to r e t u r n t o e a r t h . I t i s i r o n i c t h a t Emer, who v a l u e d o n l y two t h i n g s on e a r t h , t h e memory of C u c h u l a i n ' s l o v e and t h e hope t h a t t h i s l o v e would one day be r e i n s t a t e d , must g i v e up t h i s hope as B r i c r i u ' s c o n d i t i o n f o r r e s t o r i n g C u c h u l a i n to l i f e . He comes back to t h e arms of h i s m i s t r e s s , and Emer i s l e f t a l o n e w i t h h e r memories. The most e f f e c t i v e method of s h e d d i n g t h e memories o f e a r t h , and t h u s e s c a p i n g t h e m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n , i s t a u g h t by P a u l R u t t l e d g e i n Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g , who l e a v e s h i s f a m i l y , h i s p o s s e s s i o n s , even h i s i d e n t i t y , d e t a c h i n g h i m s e l f f r o m e v e r y bond t h a t h o l d s him to t h i s e a r t h , and making h i s h e a r t and mind "as b a r e as t h e w i l d e r n e s s " (VP1 1 1 4 1 ) , and who u r g e s h i s f o l l o w e r s to do t h e same. A c c o r d i n g t o R i s t , 155 t h i s i s t h e method w h i c h P l o t i n u s t a u g h t f o r a c h i e v i n g u n i o n w i t h t h e One: The One i s p r e - e m i n e n t l y s i m p l e — t o a t t a i n l i k e -n e s s t o i t we too must be p r e - e m i n e n t l y s i m p l e . Hence P l o t i n u s ' c r y t h r o u g h a l l t h e s t a g e s of t h e ' m y s t i c way' i s t h e more i n s i s t e n t h e r e [ i n t h e Enneads ] : ' S t r i p away e v e r y t h i n g ' ; 'put away a l l s h a pe'; 'the man who l e t s e v e r y Form go w i l l s e e ' . I f we see t h e One by b e i n g l i k e i t , and t h e One i t s e l f i s u n s p e a k a b l e and h a r d to t e l l o f , we o u r s e l v e s can h a r d l y e x p e c t to see i t i f we a r e s t i l l c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h e f i n i t e F o r m s . ± u The One i s t h e whole, t h e u n d i v i d e d S e l f , w h i l e t h e s e l f d u r i n g t i m e i s by d e f i n i t i o n d i v i d e d , s i n c e i t i s c h a r a c t e r -i z e d by memories w h i c h Y e a t s e q u a t e s i n h i s e s s a y "The Mandukya U p a n i s h a d s " w i t h a f r a g m e n t e d s p i r i t " f o r g e t t i n g , remembering, s l e e p i n g , w a k i n g , s p r e a d out i n t o p a s t , p r e s e n t , f u t u r e " (E & I 4 8 0 ) . I t f o l l o w s t h e n t h a t t h e s e memories must be shed b e f o r e t h e s p i r i t can be made wh o l e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , as Y e a t s i m p l i e s i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n ae," t h i s r e l i n q u i s h i n g of memories [ e q u a t e d w i t h d e s i r e ] w h i l e i n t h e body i s a r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t s t e p f o r most men t o t ake. I t h i n k t h a t we who a r e p o e t s and a r t i s t s , not b e i n g p e r m i t t e d to s h o o t beyond t h e t a n g i b l e , must go from d e s i r e to w e a r i n e s s and so to d e s i r e a g a i n , and l i v e f o r t h e moment when v i s i o n comes to our w e a r i n e s s l i k e t e r r i b l e l i g h t n i n g , i n t h e h u m i l i t y of t h e b r u t e s . . . . Only when we a r e s a i n t or sage, and r e n o u n c e e x p e r i e n c e i t s e l f , c an we, R i s t , P l o t i n u s , p. 134. 156 i n i m a g e r y of t h e C h r i s t i a n C a b b a l a , l e a v e t h e sudden l i g h t n i n g and t h e p a t h of t h e s e r p e n t and become t h e bowman who aims h i s arrow a t t h e c e n t r e of t h e sun. ( M y t h o l o g i e s 340) W h i l e Y e a t s would a r g u e t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r any man to f o l l o w P a u l ' s a d v i c e and r e a c h p e r f e c t i o n , and t h u s r e l e a s e f r o m t h e wheel of t i m e , i n any one l i f e , f o r most m o r t a l s t h e r e l i n q u i s h i n g of t h e t i e s of memory w h i c h P a u l a d v o c a t e s i s a much l e n g t h i e r p r o c e s s . I t t a k e s p l a c e d u r i n g p u r g a t o r y , i n t h e s t a t e i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g d e a t h . IV. Remembering (Dreaming Back) A f t e r d e a t h , w r o t e Y e a t s i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e " and i n "The S o u l i n Judgment" c h a p t e r of A V i s i o n , t h e s p i r i t l e a v e s t h e t e r r e s t i a l c o n d i t i o n and e n t e r s " t h e c o n d i t i o n of a i r where images have but a borrowed l i f e , t h a t of memory..." (M 3 5 7 ) . The ghost now dreams i t s e l f t h r o u g h s i x d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s between l i v e s b e f o r e i t i s r e a d y f o r r e i n c a r n a t i o n o r , i f i t i s s u f f i c i e n t l y p e r f e c t e d , f o r r e l e a s e from t h e wheel of t i m e : N e i t h e r between d e a t h and b i r t h nor between b i r t h and d e a t h can t h e s o u l f i n d more t h a n momentary h a p p i n e s s ; i t s o b j e c t i s to p a s s r a p i d l y r o u n d i t s c i r c l e and f i n d f r e e d o m from t h a t c i r c l e . (AV (B) 236) The f i r s t z t h r e e of t h e s e s t a t e s a r e molded by t h e memories of i t s p a s t l i f e ; t h e y r e s e m b l e l i f e i n t h a t t h e y a l s o 157 r e p r e s e n t "no o r d e r l y d e s c e n t from l e v e l to l e v e l , no w a t e r -f a l l , but a w h i r l p o o l , a g y r e " (AV (B) 4 0 ) , and t h e g h o s t must move back and f o r t h between them u n t i l i t has f u l l y r e l i v e d and e x p i a t e d i t s memories. We c a r r y t o Anima Muridi our memory and t h a t memory i s f o r a t i m e our e x t e r n a l w o r l d ; and a l l p a s s i o n a t e moments r e c u r a g a i n and a g a i n , f o r p a s s i o n d e s i r e s i t s own r e c u r r e n c e more t h a n any e v e n t , and w h a t e v e r t h e r e i s of c o r r e s p o n d i n g c o m p l a c e n c y or remorse i s our b e g i n n i n g of j u d g -ment; nor do we remember o n l y t h e e v e n t s of l i f e , f o r t h o u g h t s b r e d of l o n g i n g and of f e a r ... come a g a i n l i k e a r o p e ' s end to s m i t e us upon the f a c e . . . . ( M y t h o l o g i e s 354) B e c a u s e t h o u g h t i s e x i s t e n c e i n t h i s c o n d i t i o n , t h e memories as w e l l as t h e f e a r s and d o u b t s of t h e s o u l , now a g h o s t , form a r e a l i t y t h a t i t b e l i e v e s i n c o m p l e t e l y , even as i t b e l i e v e d c o m p l e t e l y i n i t s m o r t a l e x i s t e n c e w h i l e on e a r t h . Says Dr. T r e n c h i n The Words Upon the Window-Pane, Some s p i r i t s a r e e a r t h - b o u n d — t h e y t h i n k t h e y a r e s t i l l l i v i n g and go o v e r and o v e r some a c t i o n o f t h e i r p a s t l i v e s , j u s t as we go o v e r and o v e r some p a i n f u l t h o u g h t , e x c e p t t h a t where t h e y a r e t h o u g h t i s r e a l i t y . (VP1 9 44) The o b j e c t of t h e e x e r c i s e i s f o r t h e s o u l t o c o n f r o n t and f u l l y a c c e p t t h e memories of i t s p r e v i o u s l i f e . I n t h i s s t a t e i t must work t h r o u g h them a l l , r e c o l l e c t i n g them f i r s t w i t h a l l t h e i r p a s s i o n and f u r y , and t h e n i n t r a n q u i l l i t y , as i t were, d w e l l i n g on them u n t i l t h e i r f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e , t h e i r c a u s e s and e f f e c t s , have been u n d e r s t o o d , and u n t i l a l l t h e e m o t i o n w h i c h t h e y g i v e r i s e to has been e x h a u s t e d . 158 A l l t h a t keeps Sp1r11 from i t s f r e e d o m may be compared t o a k n o t t h a t has t o be u n t i e d or t o an o s c i l l a t i o n or v i o l e n c e t h a t must end i n a r e t u r n to e q u i l i b r i u m . (AV (.B) 22 6) The s p i r i t i n t h e f i r s t t h r e e s t a t e s between l i v e s i n Y e a t s ' s m e t a p h y s i c s i s t h e r e f o r e i n a p u r g a t o r i a l s t a t e , but one t h a t d i f f e r s somewhat from C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n , as H e l e n V e n d l e r p o i n t s o u t : t h e q u e s t i o n i s n e v e r " I d i d t h i s , and I r e p e n t and w i l l do o t h e r w i s e , " b u t , " D i d I do t h i s ? " - -t r a c i n g e ach a c t i o n to t h e s o u r c e , m e a s u r i n g t h e l o t , f o r g i v i n g h i m s e l f (when he can) t h e l o t . To become i m p a s s i v e i n t h e f a c e of one's remem-b e r e d e x p e r i e n c e i s t h e Y e a t s i a n g o a l , not t o r e p e n t and do o t h e r w i s e . H B e c a u s e f o r Y e a t s good as w e l l as e v i l a r e m e r e l y o p p o s i t e s w h i c h must u l t i m a t e l y be r e c o n c i l e d , t h e g h o s t i n t h e t h i r d s t a t e must a l s o be p u r i f i e d of good and e v i l . In so f a r as t h e man d i d good w i t h o u t knowing e v i l , or e v i l w i t h o u t knowing good, h i s n a t u r e i s r e v e r s e d u n t i l t h a t knowledge i s o b t a i n e d . (AV (B) 231) B e c a u s e p u r g a t o r y i n Y e a t s ' s v i e w i s p u r e l y s e l f -c r e a t e d , i t i s s h o r t i f t h e s o u l i s p u r p o s e f u l , i t s c o n -s c i e n c e c l e a r , but i t i s i n t e r m i n a b l e i f t h e s o u l i s f e a r f u l or wracked w i t h g u i l t about a c t i o n s and t h o u g h t s i n i t s p a s t V e n d l e r , " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s , " p. 309, n. 2. 159 l i f e . Thus Y e a t s o f t e n c i t e d t h e c a s e of a g h o s t i n a J a p a n e s e p l a y who b u r n e d f o r ages i n a s e l f - c r e a t e d h e l l as r e t r i b u t i o n f o r what i t f e l t was an e v i l l i f e on e a r t h , and who c o u l d not be f r e e d from t h e b u r n i n g f l a m e s of t h i s h e l l u n t i l i t s t o p p e d b e l i e v i n g t h a t t h e y were r e a l . In t h e same way c h a r a c t e r s l i k e t h e mother i n P u r g a t o r y c a n n o t be f r e e d to c o n t i n u e t h e i r s p i r i t u a l j o u r n e y u n t i l t h e y s t o p r e j e c t -i n g , d e n y i n g , or b e i n g e n t r a n c e d by t h e s e m e m o r i e s — t h e y must l e a r n t o c o n t e m p l a t e them w i t h i n d i f f e r e n c e . Were C u c h u l a i n to have e s c a p e d l i f e t h r o u g h d e a t h i n The Only J e a l o u s y of Emer (and t h i s can be u n d e r s t o o d t o have t a k e n p l a c e on a n o t h e r . l e v e l of t h e p l a y , though B r i c r i u l a t e r c a l l s him back to l i f e , b e c a u s e he i s r e f e r r e d to as one of t h o s e d r e a m i n g shades who "when t h e y dream no more r e t u r n no m o r e " ) , the p u r g i n g of h i s memories would q u i t e l i k e l y have been l e n g t h i e r and more t r a u m a t i c t h a n i t p r o v e s to be when he f i n a l l y l e a v e s l i f e i n The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n , f o r he would have been b e s e t by r e c u r r i n g n i g h t m a r e s s u c h as t h e memory of h a v i n g k i l l e d h i s son w h i c h t i e s him to e a r t h i n The Only J e a l o u s y of Emer. In The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n , C u c h u l a i n i s now an o l d man who has p l a y e d out h i s l i f e f u l l y and c o m p l e t e l y and i s r e a d y , even e a g e r , f o r h i s d e a t h . The s p i r i t can l e a v e t h i s l i f e w i t h t h e l e a s t trauma, i n C. G. Jung's words, 160 when l i f e has been l i v e d so e x h a u s t i v e l y , and w i t h s u c h d e v o t e d n e s s , t h a t no more u n f u l f i l l e d o b l i g a t i o n s to l i f e e x i s t , when, t h e r e f o r e , no d e s i r e s t h a t c a n n o t be s a c r i f i c e d u n h e s i t a t i n g l y s t a n d i n t h e way of i n n e r detachment from t h e wo r l d . 1 2 T h i s i s echoed i n A V i s i o n , where Y e a t s w r i t e s t h a t " t h e more f u l l y a l i f e i s l i v e d , t h e l e s s t h e need f o r — o r the more c o m p l e t e i s - - t h e e x p i a t i o n " (AV (B) 236) The D e a t h of C u c h u l a i n c an a l s o be u n d e r s t o o d on two l e v e l s . On t h e most l i t e r a l l e v e l , of c o u r s e , C u c h u l a i n i s a p p r o a c h i n g h i s d e a t h . On a n o t h e r l e v e l , however, t h e p l a y d r a m a t i z e s t h e e x p i a t i o n of h i s l i f e w h i c h i s n e c e s s a r y b e f o r e he can d i s c a r d h i s memories and become p u r e s p i r i t . V e r y n e a r d e a t h a f t e r r e c e i v i n g h i s f i r s t m o r t a l wound, C u c h u l a i n seems i n a da z e , and s a y s "Where am I? Why am I h e r e ? " (VP1 1057). He b e g i n s t o dream t h e dreams of a shade, and a l l t h e i m p o r t a n t e v e n t s and memories of h i s l i f e , s i m p l i f i e d f o r d r a m a t i c p u r p o s e s , pass b e f o r e h i s e y e s . F i r s t he remembers t h e e v e n t s d r a m a t i z e d i n The Only J e a l o u s y  of Emer ( 1 0 5 5 ) ; n e x t he s e e s A o i f e , t h e woman who f o u g h t him i n At the Hawk's W e l l and b o r e t h e son he k i l l e d i n On B a i l e ' s  S t r a n d . A l t h o u g h she i s now as o l d as he i s , he at f i r s t m i s t a k e s h e r f o r t h e young woman he f o u g h t and c o n q u e r e d so C. G. Ju n g , "Commentary," The S e c r e t of t h e G o l d e n  F l o w e r (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e and W o r l d , I n c . , 2nd ed. 1962), p. 114. 161 l o n g b e f o r e , and i m a g i n e s h i m s e l f s t i l l a t t h e s c e n e of t h e o r i g i n a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n : You f o u g h t w i t h a sword, I t seemed t h a t we s h o u l d k i l l each o t h e r , t h e n Your body w e a r i e d and I t o o k y o u r sword. (VP1 1057) She has to remin d him t h a t " t h a t t i m e was l o n g a g o / And now i t i s my t i m e . I have come t o k i l l y o u . " S u d d e n l y he remembers t h e s e r i e s of e v e n t s f o l l o w i n g t h e i r f i r s t m e e t i n g . And now I know y o u r name, A o i f e , t h e mother of my s o n . We met At t h e Hawk's W e l l under t h e w i t h e r e d t r e e s . I k i l l e d him upon B a i l e ' s S t r a n d . . . You have a r i g h t t o k i l l me. Ot h e r memories f l o a t b e f o r e h i s e y e s , b u t t h e y f a d e r a p i d l y away, and j u s t b e f o r e d y i n g C u c h u l a i n s e e s t h e shape he w i l l assume when he i s dead; not t h e body w h i c h e n d u r e d t h e c r i s e s o f h i s m o r t a l e x i s t e n c e , but My s o u l ' s f i r s t s hape, a s o f t f e a t h e r y s h a p e , And i s not t h a t a s t r a n g e shape f o r t h e s o u l Of a g r e a t f i g h t i n g - m a n ? (VP1 1060-1) That he goes t o j o i n t h e company of d i s e m b o d i e d s p i r i t s f r e e d of t h e i r s e p a r a t e n e s s and memories, t h o s e s p i r i t s w h i c h have r e a c h e d t h e l a s t s t a g e of t h e l i f e between d e a t h and b i r t h , i s made c l e a r e r i n Y e a t s ' s poem, " C u c h u l a i n C o m f o r t e d , " a companion p i e c e t o t h e p l a y w r i t t e n s h o r t l y a f t e r The D e a t h 162 of C u c h u l a i n . Here t h e s p i r i t s i n u n i s o n hand C u c h u l a i n a s h r o u d w h i c h , s a y s F. A. C. W i l s o n , i s h i s " C e l e s t i a l Body," w h i c h once donned w i l l o b l i t e r a t e h i s " P a s s i o n a t e Body" of m o r t a l l i f e . W i l s o n q u o t e s a r e l e v a n t p a s s a g e from A V i s i o n : " I f t h e p a s s i o n a t e body does not d i s a p p e a r , t h e S p i r i t f i n d s t h e c e l e s t i a l body o n l y a f t e r l o n g and p e r h a p s p a i n f u l dreams 14 of t h e p a s t . " C u c h u l a i n a c c e p t s t h e s h r o u d , and by t h e end of the poem has been t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a b i r d and j o i n e d t h e s p i r i t s i n t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e s o ng: "They had changed t h e i r t h r o a t s and had t h e t h r o a t s of b i r d s " (VE 6 3 5 ) . In C a l v a r y , The Words Upon t h e Wiridow-Pane, The Dreaming  of t h e Bones and P u r g a t o r y , on t h e o t h e r hand, t h e v a r i o u s g h o s t s a r e t r a p p e d n e a r t h e e a r t h by t h e memories of c r i s e s or c r i m e s i n t h e i r p a s t l i v e s w h i c h t h e y have not been a b l e , X J T h i s i s a v e r y d i f f i c u l t poem w h i c h has l e d to c o n f u s -i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y F. A. C. W i l s o n ' s , who a r g u e s b o t h t h a t i t s y m b o l i z e s D a n t e ' s " V a l l e y of t h e N e g l i -gent R u l e r s " p e o p l e d by s p i r i t s " O u t s i d e t r u e p u r g a t o r y ; g r a n t e d t h e ease t h e y s o u g h t i n l i f e , t h e i r p u n i s h m e n t i s the d e s i r e t h e y f e e l f o r a c t i v e p u r g a t i o n " ( Y e a t s and T r a d i -t i o n 246) and t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s a community of " p u r e s o u l s , who have e s c a p e d from t h e r o u n d o f b i r t h and d e a t h " ( 2 4 8 ) . The most l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n , I would p r o p o s e , i s t h a t t h e poem r e p r e s e n t s C u c h u l a i n ' s u n i o n w i t h h i s s p i r i t u a l Daimons w h i c h , b e c a u s e t h e y a r e h i s o p p o s i t e s , a r e " c o n v i c t e d cowards a l l " s i n c e he was a w a r r i o r ; t h e y a r e n o n e t h e l e s s p u r i f i e d s p i r i t s , t hough i t may be s t i l l i n t h e f i n a l s t a g e s between d e a t h and l i f e (AV (B) 234), and l e a d him q u i c k l y t h r o u g h t h e p u r g i n g and d i s c a r d i n g o f h i s p a s s i o n a t e body. Quoted from A V i s i o n ( B ) , p. 224, by F. A. C. W i l s o n , Y and T, 249. 163 f o r d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s , to p u r g e . B e c ause Y e a t s ' s e x p l a n a t i o n o f p u r g a t o r y i n A V i s i o n c o n s t i t u t e s one o f h i s most r e a d i l y u n d e r s t a n d a b l e c h a p t e r s , and b e c a u s e th e same b e l i e f s a r e o f t e n e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e d i n t h e p l a y s , e i t h e r by t h e more s e l f - a w a r e of t h e g h o s t s or by i n t e r e s t e d b y s t a n d e r s , t h e s e p u r g a t o r i a l p l a y s a r e r e l a t i v e l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . W r i t e s H e l e n V e n d l e r , S o r t i n g out t h e p a s s i o n s of t h e p a s t , r e l i v i n g them i n thought,, o c c u p i e s t h e o l d s o l i t a r y J o n a t h a n S w i f t , as we see him t h r o u g h t h e medium i n The Words Upon t h e Window-Pane. B e c a u s e he has n o t y e t l e a r n e d i m p a s s i v i t y b e f o r e h i s f a t e , h i s s o u l r e m a i n s p e r p e t u a l l y t o r m e n t e d by i t s l i f e . . . . In t h e same way, C h r i s t i n C a l v a r y (1921) "dreams h i s P a s s i o n t h r o u g h , " r e l i v i n g i n memory h i s r e j e c t i o n by L a z a r u s , Judas and t h e i n d i f f e r e n t Roman s o l d i e r s : he, t o o , has not r e s i g n e d h i m s e l f to h i s f a t e , t h a t t h e r e a r e t h o s e "he c a n n o t s a v e . " ... The o n l y way to l a y a g h o s t , i n t h e Y e a t s i a n m e t a p h y s i c , i s t o "measure t h e l o t , f o r g i v e t h e l o t , " and to r e p u -d i a t e i s o n l y , i n t h e end, to evade.15 B o t h C h r i s t and S w i f t i n t h e s e p l a y s do not know t h a t t h e y a r e dead, so c a ught up a r e t h e y by t h e s t r e n g t h and p a i n of t h e i r memories. C h r i s t i s h e l d n e a r t h e e a r t h by them i n t h e same way t h a t L a z a r u s i s t r a p p e d i n t h e w o r l d by t h e l i f e C h r i s t r e s t o r e d to him. L a z a r u s , l i k e F o r g a e l and so many o t h e r Y e a t s i a n p r o t a g o n i s t s , would have p r e f e r r e d t h e d e a t h C h r i s t t o o k from him, or at l e a s t a waste s p a c e "where t h e r e V e n d l e r , " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s , " pp. 325-6. 164 i s n o t h i n g " (VP1 783), and c a n n o t f o r g i v e C h r i s t f o r r e t u r n -i n g him t o t h i s l i f e . C h r i s t i n t h i s p l a y i s a k i n to the s u b j e c t i v e h e r o n ( h i s o p p o s i t e ) of t h e o p e n i n g l y r i c s who " s h i v e r s i n a dumbfounded dream" i n w h i c h he s t a r e s a t h i s own r e f l e c t i o n i n t h e w a t e r , t h e symbol of g e n e r a t i o n or m a t t e r i n w h i c h t h e s p i r i t i s r e f l e c t e d o r , i n t h i s c a s e , i m p r i s o n e d . He c a n n o t e s c a p e r e l i v i n g h i s c r u c i f i x i o n and c e r t a i n e v e n t s p r e c e d i n g i t b e c a u s e , as V e n d l e r n o t e s , he has not a c c e p t e d h i s r e j e c t i o n by L a z a r u s and Judas and t h e s o l d i e r s at. t h e c r o s s . Chant the m u s i c i a n s , He c l i m b s up h i t h e r but as a dreamer c l i m b s . The c r o s s t h a t but e x i s t s b e c a u s e he dreams i t S h o r t e n s H i s b r e a t h and wears away H i s s t r e n g t h . (VP1 781) He w i l l not be a b l e t o p u r g e t h e s e images u n t i l he can a c c e p t t h e f a c t t h a t he c o u l d not. s a v e a l l men and c o n s e -q u e n t l y , what must be t h e most p a i n f u l t r u t h of a l l f o r a S a v i o u r , t h a t he i s o n l y one of many g o d s - - " I f he were t h e God of d i c e he'd know i t [ t h e dance of d i c e - t h r o w e r s ] , but he i s not t h a t God" (VP1 7 8 7 ) . In The Words Upon t h e Window-Fane i t i s J o n a t h a n S w i f t who has not come to terms w i t h h i s m o r t a l e x i s t e n c e , and i s s t i l l t o r t u r i n g h i m s e l f o v e r some of t h e c r u c i a l d e c i s i o n s t h a t he made d u r i n g i t . In t h e p l a y he i s a c o n v e n t i o n a l g h o s t h a u n t i n g , as one would e x p e c t , a house i n w h i c h a t l e a s t one of t h e c r i s e s t o o k p l a c e . B e c a u se the p l a y i s 165 w r i t t e n i n p r o s e and d o m i n a t e d by t h e r a t i o n a l , p r o b i n g i n t e l l e c t s of Dr. T r e n c h and Mr. C o r b e t i t i s much more l i t e r a l and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d t h a n t h e b u l k of Y e a t s ' s p l a y s . The g h o s t of S w i f t r e - e n a c t s e x a c t l y t h e same s c e n e s , w i t h e x a c t l y t h e same words, as he has i n two p r e v i o u s s e a n c e s and, we must assume, many more t i m e s i n t h e l a s t two c e n -t u r i e s : Dr. T r e n c h : D i d t h e S p i r i t s say the same t h i n g and go t h r o u g h t h e same drama at b o t h s e a n c e s ? Mrs. M a l l e t t : Y e s — j u s t as i f t h e y were c h a r a c t e r s i n some k i n d o f h o r r i b l e p l a y . (VP1 943) S w i f t i s r e l i v i n g c r i s e s w h i c h o c c u r r e d at t h r e e d i f -f e r e n t t i m e s i n h i s l i f e , f i r s t w i t h V a n e s s a , when she p l e a d e d w i t h him t o have c h i l d r e n , t h e n w i t h an a g i n g S t e l l a , and f i n a l l y t h a t b r o u g h t on by h i s own s e n i l i t y and d e g e n e r a -t i o n . T h i s i s t h e most i m p o r t a n t c r i s i s , and so t h e f i l t h y , d i s e a s e d and s e n i l e body of h i s o l d age d o m i n a t e s t h e p l a y , b o t h a t t h e b e g i n n i n g , when t h e s p i r i t C h i l d L u l u s e e s him c r o u c h e d i n t h e c o r n e r of t h e room (VP1 947) and at t h e end, when t h e medium awakens to see him " d i r t y , h i s f a c e c o v e r e d w i t h b o i l s . Some d i s e a s e had made one o f h i s eyes s w e l l up, i t s t o o d out from h i s f a c e l i k e a hen's egg" (VP1 9 5 5 ) . But b e c a u s e t h e g h o s t t a k e s on t h e body i t i n h a b i t e d when i t underwent t h e d i f f e r e n t c r i s e s , t h i s s e n i l e o l d man a l t e r -n a t e s w i t h a y o u n g e r , more i m p r e s s i v e one. W r i t e s D o u g l a s A r c h i b a l d , 166 T h e r e i s g r e a t t e n s i o n between the t h r e e images of S w i f t . The p u b l i c f i g u r e i m a g i n e d and d i s -c u s s e d by C o r b e t i s at t h e h e i g h t of h i s power; t h e man l o v e d by S t e l l a and V a n e s s a i s p a s t h i s p r i m e but not y e t sunk " i n t o i m b e c i l i t y or mad-n e s s " ; t h e aged, d e f o r m e d , and demented a p p a r i -t i o n i s t h e d y i n g dean of l e g e n d and f a c t . . . . H i s S w i f t i s t h e most p o w e r f u l , t h e most f u l l y r e n d e r e d , of Y e a t s ' s images of d e s p a i r and s u f f er i n g . 6 In The Dreaming of t h e Bones D i a r m u i d and D e r v o r g i l l a a ppear as young and handsome l o v e r s b e c a u s e , as D e r v o r g i l l a e x p l a i n s , t h e i r s t o r y and t h e c r i s i s t h a t t h e y a r e a t t e m p t -i n g to p u r g e began when t h e y were young. They, u n l i k e S w i f t , have committed a s e r i o u s c r i m e , and t h u s t h e i r p u r g a t o r y i s more c l e a r l y d e f i n e d and b e t t e r u n d e r s t o o d by t h e g h o s t s , who a r e aware t h a t t h e y a r e dead and y e t un-b l e s s e d . T h e i r penance has l a s t e d f o r s e v e n c e n t u r i e s , f a r l o n g e r t h a n t h e penance f o r c r i m e s of p a s s i o n , of l o v e or h a t e , c o u l d e v e r be. B e i n g s h a d e s , t h e y know t h e f a t e o f o t h e r s h a d e s , and say t h a t t h o s e who "Warred i n t h e h e a t of b l o o d " have l o n g s i n c e f o r g o t t e n t h e i r e a r t h l y memories and been u n i t e d w i t h t h e i r f o r m e r enemies ( o p p o s i t e s ) of t h i s w o r l d : 1 6 D o u g l a s A r c h i b a l d , "The Words Upon t h e Window Pane and Y e a t s ' s e n c o u n t e r w i t h S w i f t , " Y e a t s and t h e T h e a t r e , eds. R. O ' D r i s c o l l and L. R e y n o l d s (New Y o r k : M a c l e a n -H u n t e r , 1974), p. 198. 167 t h e y and t h e i r enemies ... Mix i n a b r i e f d r e a m - b a t t l e above t h e i r b o n e s ; Or make one d r o v e , or d r i f t i n a m i t y ; Or i n t h e h u r r y of t h e h e a v e n l y r o u n d F o r g e t t h e i r e a r t h l y names. (VP1 7 70) The young m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t , a s t o u n d e d by t h e l e n g t h o f t h e i r p u r g a t o r y , a s k s , "What c r i m e can s t a y so i n t h e memory?" (VP1 7 7 2 ) . The answer i s t w o f o l d . The c r i m e i s n o t f o r g o t t e n f i r s t b e c a u s e t h e s p i r i t s t h e m s e l v e s have not f o r g e t t e n i t , or f o r g i v e n t h e m s e l v e s f o r t h e i r p a r t i n i t . T o r t u r e d by t h e i r own c o n s c i e n c e s , t h e y wander f o r e v e r t o g e t h e r and y e t a p a r t , f o r e v e r y t i m e t h e y a r e about t o seek c o m f o r t i n a k i s s , t h e y remember t h e i r c r i m e and a v e r t t h e i r f a c e s . Y e a t s w r i t e s t h a t , l i k e t h e g h o s t i n t h e J a p a n e s e p l a y m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , " t h e l o v e r s i n my p l a y have l o s t t h e m s e l v e s i n a d i f f e r e n t but s t i l l s e l f - c r e a t e d w i n d i n g of t h e l a b y r i n t h of c o n s c i e n c e " (VP1 7 7 7 ) . The f i r s t s t e p t o w a r d s r e l e a s e w i l l be a c c o m p l i s h e d when t h e y r e a l i z e t h a t t h e t o r t u r e i^s s e l f - c r e a t e d . T h e r e i s however an added c o m p l i c a t i o n , w h i c h adds t o t h e l e n g t h of t h e i r p e nance. The n a t u r e of t h e c r i m e i s s u c h t h a t though i t t o o k p l a c e s e v e n c e n t u r i e s b e f o r e , i t s c o n s e q u e n c e s a r e s t i l l b e i n g f e l t by t h e l i v i n g , who them-s e l v e s r e f u s e to a c c e p t t h e c r i m e and f o r g i v e t h e c r i m i n a l s . 168 D i a r m u i d and D e r v o r g i l l a b e t r a y e d t h e i r c o u n t r y , I r e l a n d , f o r t h e y welcomed t h e Norman i n v a d e r s and t h u s " s o l d t h e i r c o u n t r y i n t o s l a v e r y " (CP1 4 4 2 ) , and t h e i r names and s t o r y a r e known and s h u d d e r e d a t by l i v i n g I r i s h m e n l i k e t h e Young Man who l i s t e n s t o t h e i r s t o r y i n t h e p l a y . Though moved t o p i t y by t h e i r p l i g h t , he r e f u s e s t o f o r g i v e them and f r e e the p a i r from t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n t h e c r i m e , and t h u s f r o m t h e i r memory of i t . He remembers t h e c r i m e w i t h as much b i t t e r n e s s as i f i t were f r e s h l y c o m m i t t e d , and s a y s , "0, n e v e r , n e v e r / S h a l l D i a r m u i d and D e r v o r g i l l a be f o r -g i v e n " (VP1 7 7 3 ) . Because t h e h o r r o r of t h e c r i m e l i v e s as f r e s h l y i n t h e minds of t h e l i v i n g as of t h e dead, t h e g h o s t s a r e doomed t o wander u n t i l some one among t h e l i v i n g d e c i d e s to f o r g i v e t h e i r c r i m e and t h u s s e t t h e i r c o n s c i e n c e to r e s t ; w r i t e s H e l e n V e n d l e r , " D i a r m u i d and D e r v o r g i l l a w i l l a d d r e s s t h e m s e l v e s t o t h e n e x t p a s s e r b y , or a g a i n to t h i s p a s s e r b y t h e nex t t i m e they e n c o u n t e r him.""'"^ The i n f l u e n c e o f t h e l i v i n g on t h e memories of t h e dead i s of even g r e a t e r t h e m a t i c i m p o r t a n c e i n P u r g a t o r y , w h i c h f o c u s e s n o t o n l y on t h e memories of t h e dead, t h e g h o s t s of the r u i n e d h o u s e , but a l s o on t h e memories o f t h e O l d Man, the l a s t l i v i n g s u r v i v o r of t h a t h o u s e h o l d . H i s memories of t h e h o u s e h o l d a r e at f i r s t q u i t e b l u r r e d and i m p e r s o n a l : V e n d l e r , " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s , " p. 316. 169 I t h i n k about i t s j o k e s and s t o r i e s ; I t r y to remember what t h e b u t l e r S a i d to t h e d r u n k e n gamekeeper In m i d - O c t o b e r , but I c a n n o t . I f I c a n n o t , none l i v i n g c a n . (VP1 1041) As h i s memories grow more v i v i d and more p e r s o n a l , t h e o l d house i s s l o w l y b r o u g h t t o l i f e u n t i l even t h e o l d man's son , who a t f i r s t t h i n k s him c r a z y f o r i n s i s t i n g t h a t t h e h ouse i s l i t up, can see t h e f i g u r e s w a n d e r i n g t h r o u g h i t . The p l a y c e n t r e s on t h e s t r e n g t h and i n t e n s i t y of t h e O l d Man's memory of h i s p a r e n t s . He r e f u s e s t o f o r g i v e h i s f a t h e r f o r m a r r y i n g h i s mother and d i s s i p a t i n g h e r f o r t u n e , or to f o r g i v e h i s mother f o r b e t r a y i n g h e r house and h e r i t -age by m a r r y i n g a s t a b l e - h a n d . N e i t h e r can he f o r g i v e h i s own son f o r h i s p o t e n t i a l f o r c a r r y i n g t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e i r c r i m e t o t h e n e x t g e n e r a t i o n , and p o s s i b l y to many o t h e r g e n e r a t i o n s i n t h e f u t u r e . The O l d Man i s aware t h a t he has a p a r t to p l a y i n h i s m o t h e r ' s t o r m e n t , and t h u s can p l a y an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n f r e e i n g h e r f r o m h e r memories. He knows t h a t she must, l i k e a l l s p i r i t s i n p u r g a t o r y , p u r g e t h e s e memories by r e l i v i n g them and a c c e p t i n g them and t h e i r c o n s e q u e n c e s . They must, he s a y s R e - l i v e T h e i r t r a n s g r e s s i o n s , and t h a t not once But many t i m e s ; t h e y know a t l a s t The c o n s e q u e n c e of t h o s e t r a n s g r e s s i o n s Whether upon o t h e r s or upon t h e m s e l v e s ; 170 Upon o t h e r s , o t h e r s may b r i n g h e l p , For when the c o n s e q u e n c e i s at an end The dream must end.... (VP1 1042) He hopes t o h e l p h e r e s c a p e h e r t o r m e n t by k i l l i n g h i s own son, and i n t h i s way s t o p p i n g t h e c o n s e q u e n c e from b e i n g p e r p e t r a t e d from one g e n e r a t i o n t o a n o t h e r . He does not s u c c e e d . Though t h e boy i s dead a t t h e end of t h e p l a y , t h e mother c o n t i n u e s t o a w a i t her l o v e r i n t h e h a u n t e d house. We a r e l e f t t o wonder i f h e r memories w i l l f a d e when she a c c e p t s and p u r g e s them h e r s e l f , as V e n d l e r p o s i t s , s a y i n g t h a t " t h e o n l y way f o r t h e O l d Man's mother t o be f r e e d f r o m the embrace of h e r l o v e r ... i s f o r h e r no 18 l o n g e r to d e s i r e t h a t embrace" or whether h e r e s c a p e must a w a i t h e r son's own a c c e p t a n c e of them. I f t h i s i s t h e c a s e , t h e poor woman's r e l e a s e w i l l be slow i n coming; t h e O l d Man w i l l have t o f o r g i v e and f o r g e t t h r o u g h a p u r g a t o r y of h i s own, not j u s t h e r c r i m e but t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s of h e r c r i m e , h i s own murders of f i r s t h i s f a t h e r and now h i s o n l y so n . A somewhat s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n i s d r a m a t i z e d i n The  P l a y e r Queen, tho u g h i n t h i s p l a y t h e s u b j e c t of p u r g a t o r y i s t r e a t e d r a t h e r more p l a y f u l l y . I n d r a f t 16 of t h e m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s t h e g h o s t of t h e dead k i n g a p p e a r s and, V e n d l e r , " C h a n g i n g M e t a p h o r s , " p. 317. 171 s p e a k i n g t h r o u g h a b e g g a r , bemoans h i s s i n f u l ways d u r i n g h i s l i f e t i m e and p r a y s t h a t h i s d a u g h t e r , by s e t t i n g a b e t t e r example t h a n he d i d , and p u n i s h i n g t h e s i n s of h i s c o u n t r y m e n , w i l l put an end to t h e s i n n i n g of h i s p e o p l e w h i c h was t h e d i r e c t c o n s e q u e n c e s o f h i s own e v i l ways, t h u s a l l o w i n g h i s s o u l t o r e s t . He c r i e s , Must I wander always i n P u r g a t o r y f o r my s i n s ; must I endure p a i n s when I t h o u g h t my d a u g h t e r had put a l l t o r i g h t s ? Obey my d a u g h t e r , I s a y , t h e n I s h a l l be f o r g i v e n my s i n s . (MPQ 220) W h i l e t h e l i v i n g can t h u s " a s s i s t t h e i m a g i n a t i o n s of t h e dead" (AV (B) 221) and h e l p them r e a c h t h e i r r e s t , t h e memories of t h e l i v i n g can a l s o , as P u r g a t o r y and The  Dreaming o f t h e Bones a r g u e , f e e d and keep a l i v e t h e memor-i e s of t h e dead. N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e s e memories of t h e l i v i n g w i l l n o t n e c e s s a r i l y impede t h e d e p a r t e d s p i r i t f r o m a c h i e v i n g peace and c o n t i n u i n g i n t o o t h e r e x i s t e n c e s , f o r t h e memories of t h e dead w h i c h l i n g e r a f t e r t h e s p i r i t has a c c e p t e d and shed i t s memories, and w h i c h must c o n t i n u e to l i n g e r w h i l e t h e y a r e remembered by t h e l i v i n g , a r e m e r e l y t h e s h e l l o r husk o f t h e s e d i s c a r d e d memories (M 3 5 9 ) . The m a g i c a l t r a d i t i o n to w h i c h Y e a t s p a i d a l l e g i a n c e i n f a c t b e l i e v e d t h a t we a r e s u r r o u n d e d by d i s c a r d e d h u s k s of memory of a l l d e p a r t e d s p i r i t s , h u s k s w h i c h f l o a t i n t h e a s t r a l p l a n e , and i t frowned upon s p i r i t i s m f o r t h i s r e a s o n , 172 f e e l i n g t h a t e v i l s p i r i t s may w e l l e n t e r t h e s e empty s h e l l s o f memory and use them t o d e c e i v e t h e m o r t a l s a t t e m p t i n g t o 19 communicate w i t h t h e dead t h r o u g h a medium. The s p i r i t r e a c h e s t h e f o u r t h s t a t e a f t e r d e a t h , a s t a t e Y e a t s c a l l e d t h e M a r r i a g e or Beat i t u d e, o n l y a f t e r i t has f r e e d i t s e l f of e a r t h l y memories: " A l l memory has v a n i s h e d , t h e S p i r i t no l o n g e r knows what i t s name has been, i t i s a t l a s t f r e e and i n r e l a t i o n to S p i r i t s f r e e l i k e i t s e l f . " Y e a t s c o n t i n u e s , "The S p i r i t s b e f o r e t h e M a r r i a g e a r e s p o k e n of as t h e dead. A f t e r t h a t t h e y a r e s p i r i t s , u s i n g t h a t word as i t i s used i n common s p e e c h " (AV (B) 2 3 5 ) . I t i s a t t h i s s t a g e t h a t , as Y e a t s a s s e r t e d i n the 1925 e d i -t i o n of A V i s i o n , t h e s p i r i t once a g a i n d r i n k s from t h e cup of f o r g e t f u l n e s s i n o r d e r t o p r e p a r e i t s e l f t o e n t e r t h e n e x t phase of i t s e x i s t e n c e . Whether i t p a s s to a s p i r i t u a l or t o a human r e -b i r t h i t [ t h e s p i r i t ] must r e c e i v e i n B e a t i t u d e - -i n C a n c e r - - t h e Cup of L e t h e . T h e r e a l l t h o u g h t s 19 The m a g i c i a n M a c l a g a n e x p r e s s e s a s i m i l a r b e l i e f i n a r e l e v a n t p a s s a g e i n Y e a t s ' s u n f i n i s h e d n o v e l , The S p e c k l e d  B i r d , d u r i n g a d i s c u s s i o n w i t h a medium r e p o r t e d by t h e Y e a t s - f i g u r e M i c h a e l : "These [ s p i r i t s ] were but images drawn out of h i s memory and made t o l i v e by w a n d e r i n g s p i r -i t s who i n h a b i t e d them, and he began to e x p l a i n an i n t r i c a t e t h e o r y of t h e r e l a t i o n between t h i s w o r l d and t h e o t h e r . The God and t h e a n g e l s i n Swedenborg's w r i t i n g s were but memories t o o . They were memories or s y m b o l s . (The  S p e c k l e d B i r d 6 9 ) . 173 or Images ... must be p a s s e d i n t o t h e G h o s t l y S e l f [ t h e permanent s e l f ] and so be f o r g o t t e n by t h e S p i r i t . (AV (A) 236) In t h e n e x t two s t a t e s t h e s p i r i t , now a c l e a n s l a t e , r e a d i e s i t s e l f f o r a d i f f e r e n t i n c a r n a t i o n o r , i f i t has s u f f i c i e n t l y p e r f e c t e d i t s e l f , r e t u r n s to t h e One. V. P o s t s c r i p t Two k n o t s i n Y e a t s ' s t h e o r y of memory r e m a i n t o be un-done. F i r s t of a l l i t i s c l e a r t h a t w h i l e we, t h e l i v i n g , remember t h e dead, t h e y c o n t i n u e to e x i s t i n t h e i r p a s t form. Y e a t s c l a i m e d i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e " t h a t g h o s t s of l o n g - d e a d men, r e g a r d l e s s of t h e s t a t e of t h e i r c o n s c i e n c e a t d e a t h , c o n t i n u e t o h o v e r n e a r t h e e a r t h as l o n g as someone on e a r t h remembers them: the famous dead, and t h o s e of whom but a f a i n t memory l i n g e r s can s t i l l — a n d i t i s f o r no o t h e r end t h a t , a l l unknowing, we v a l u e posthumous f a m e — t r e a d t h e c o r r i d o r and t a k e t h e empty c h a i r . (M 359-60) I t i s t h i s r e a s o n t h a t Decima, t h e p l a y e r Queen, g i v e s f o r w i s h i n g t o d i e a f t e r she i s crowned queen i n d r a f t 6 of t h e m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s of t h a t p l a y : A moment, an hour I am p a r t of t h e w o r l d And when I am dead s h a l l be mourned a queen. (MPQ 54) Posthumous fame i s t h e s o l e r e w a r d t h a t C a t h l e e n N i H o u l i h a n o f f e r s t o t h o s e who h e l p h e r f i g h t f o r I r e l a n d : 174 They s h a l l be remembered f o r e v e r , They s h a l l be a l i v e f o r e v e r , They s h a l l be s p e a k i n g f o r e v e r , The p e o p l e s h a l l h e a r them f o r e v e r . (VP1 229) C o n v e r s e l y , when t h e l i v i n g f o r g e t t h e dead, t h e l a t t e r b e g i n to f a d e away. Y e a t s c l a i m s t h a t t h i s i s what happened to t h e I r i s h gods, who l o s t t h e i r p a s t s t a t u r e when t h e I r i s h p e o p l e c e a s e d t o b e l i e v e i n them, and were r e d u c e d t o t h e f a e r i e s who haunt t h e c o u n t r y s i d e . " Q u i t e beyond any d o u b t , " he w r o t e , "many of them were l o n g ago gods of I r e l a n d " (UP, I, 137) b u t , s i n c e t h e y " c a n but a p p e a r i n forms b o r r o w e d from our l i m i t e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s " (IJP, I , 2 4 7 ) , "They have g r a d u a l l y d w i n d l e d i n t h e p o p u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n u n t i l t h e y have become t h e F a e r i e s " (V_E 796). Y e a t s t r i e d a l l h i s a d u l t l i f e t o r e v i v e t h i s b e l i e f i n t h e a n c i e n t gods of I r e l a n d , f i r s t t h r o u g h t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of I r i s h M y s t e r i e s b a s e d on t h e a n c i e n t D r u i d i c m y s t e r i e s , w h i c h AE c a l l s " t h e n o b l e s t of a l l E a r t h ' s memories" ( C a n d l e of V i s i o n 6 5 ) . Y e a t s , a l o n g w i t h AE and o t h e r s t u d e n t s of m y s t i c i s m , worked f o r about t e n y e a r s to r e c r e a t e t h e s e m y s t e r i e s . At one p o i n t AE w r o t e e x u b e r a n t l y to Y e a t s t h a t " t h e gods have r e t u r n e d t o I r e l a n d " and t h a t he was i n f o r m e d i n a 20 v i s i o n t h a t " t h o u g h now few we would soon be many." 20 AE (George R u s s e l l ) , P a s s a g e s from t h e L e t t e r s of  of AE to W. B. Y e a t s ( D u b l i n ; C u a l a P r e s s , 1936; r p t . 1971), p . 17 . 175 When t h e i r a t t e m p t s f a i l e d , Y e a t s t u r n e d to I r i s h drama i n an e f f o r t to o b t a i n t h e same r e s u l t , by r e c r e a t i n g t h e a n c i e n t I r i s h myths and g i v i n g l i f e t o t h e h e r o e s and gods of I r e l a n d . He hoped t h a t t h e modern I r i s h would f o l l o w h i s example and, by remembering t h e i r p a s t , t h e i r h e r i t a g e , r e s t o r e l i f e and b r e a t h to t h e s e myths. In t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l p l a y s Y e a t s a t t e m p t s t o awaken t h e r a c i a l memory w h i c h shaped I r e l a n d ; i n o t h e r more b i t t e r p l a y s , s u c h as The  Words Upon t h e Window-Pane and P u r g a t o r y , he mourns t h e demise of t h e a r i s t o c r a t i c c l a s s of I r e l a n d w h i c h k e p t t h e b e s t of I r i s h t r a d i t i o n s , and hence i t s r a c i a l memory, a l i v e . Y e a t s a l s o b e l i e v e d t h a t , w h i l e t h e l i v i n g may i n f l u -ence t h e forms w h i c h t h e dead can assume, t h e y t h e m s e l v e s a r e i n f l u e n c e d by t h e memories of t h e i r a n c e s t o r s , by t h e c o l l e c t i v e memory, t h a t i s , of a l l s p i r i t s who once t h o u g h t . T h i s b e l i e f was a l s o h e l d by as eminent a c o n t e m p o r a r y as J u n g , who w r o t e t h a t , A l t h o u g h we human b e i n g s have our own p e r s o n a l l i f e , we a r e y e t i n l a r g e measure t h e r e p r e s e n t -a t i v e s , t h e v i c t i m s and p r o m o t e r s of a c o l l e c t i v e s p i r i t whose y e a r s a r e c o u n t e d i n c e n t u r i e s . We can w e l l t h i n k a l l our l i v e s l o n g t h a t we a r e f o l l o w i n g our own n o s e s , and may n e v e r d i s c o v e r t h a t we a r e , f o r t h e most p a r t , s u p e r n u m e r a r i e s on the s t a g e of t h e w o r l d t h e a t e r . . . . Thus a t l e a s t a p a r t of our b e i n g l i v e s i n t h e c e n t u r i e s . 2 1 R. G. J u n g , Memories, W i n s t o n (New Y o r k : Dreams and R e f l e c t i o n s , t r a n s l . Random House, 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 91. 176 Y e a t s s t a t e d h i s b e l i e f i n a c o l l e c t i v e memory, " t h e memory of N a t u r e h e r s e l f " (E & I 28) i n h i s e s s a y " M a g i c , " and r e i t e r a t e d i t i n "The P h i l o s o p h y of S h e l l e y ' s P o e t r y , " where he spoke of th e c o n v i c t i o n t h a t our l i t t l e memories a r e but a p a r t of some g r e a t Memory t h a t renews t h e w o r l d and men's t h o u g h t s age a f t e r age, and t h a t our t h o u g h t s a r e n o t , as we s u p p o s e , t h e deep, but a l i t t l e foam upon the deep. I t i s t h i s memory of n a t u r e w h i c h i s , Y e a t s c o n t i n u e d , " t h e d w e l l i n g - h o u s e of s y m b o l s , of images t h a t a r e s o u l s " (E & I 22 79). T h i s c o l l e c t i v e memory, t h e memory of our a n c e s t o r s , s t o r e d , i t may be, w i t h i n n a t u r e h e r s e l f , forms t h e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f t h e u n i v e r s e ; e v e r y a c t i o n , e v e r y t h o u g h t i s r e t a i n e d i n t h e c o l l e c t i v e memory ( t h o u g h t h e o r i g i n a l t h i n k e r may have f o r g o t t e n i t ) and o n l y when a l l s p i r i t s f o r g e t , o r s t o p p e r c e i v i n g , w i l l t h i s u n i v e r s e d i s s o l v e . Y e a t s s t a t e d t h i s e x p l i c i t l y i n a p a s s a g e i n t h e 1925 e d i t i o n of A V i s i o n w h i c h i l l u m i n a t e s f u r t h e r h i s p o s i t i o n as b o t h a r e a l i s t and an i d e a l i s t : B e r k e l e y t h o u g h t i f h i s s t u d y t a b l e r e m a i n e d when he c l o s e d h i s eyes i t c o u l d o n l y be b e c a u s e i t was t h e t h o u g h t of a more p o w e r f u l s p i r i t w h i c h he named God, but t h e m a t h e m a t i c i a n P o i n c a r e ^ W r i t e s AE, "we a r e l e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t memory i s an a t t r i b u t e of a l l l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s and of E a r t h a l s o , t h e g r e a t e s t l i v i n g c r e a t u r e we know, and t h a t she c a r r i e s w i t h h e r , and i t i s a c c e s s i b l e to u s , a l l h e r l o n g h i s t o r y . . . . The b e a u t y f o r w h i c h men p e r i s h e d i s s t i l l s h i n i n g ; H e l e n i s t h e r e i n h e r T r o y , and D e i r d r e wears t h e b e a u t y w h i c h b l a s t e d t h e Red B r a n c h . No a n c i e n t l o r e has p e r i s h e d " ( C a n d l e o f V i s i o n 6 1 ) . 177 c o n s i d e r s t i m e and s p a c e t h e work o f our a n c e s -t o r s . W i t h t h i s s y s t e m i n my bones I must d e c l a r e t h a t t h o s e a n c e s t o r s s t i l l l i v e and t h a t t i m e and s p a c e would v a n i s h i f t h e y c l o s e d t h e i r e y e s . (AV (A) 258) I t i s o n l y a s h o r t s t e p from t h i s s t a t e m e n t t o "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " where Y e a t s d e s c r i b e s " r e a l i t y " as a community of s p i r i t s , and s a y s , When t h e s e S p i r i t s r e f l e c t t h e m s e l v e s i n t i m e and sp a c e t h e y s t i l l d e t e r m i n e each o t h e r , and each S p i r i t s e e s t h e o t h e r s as t h o u g h t s , images, o b j e c t s of s e n s e . Time and s p a c e a r e u n r e a l . The s p i r i t s who a r e p e r c e i v e d by t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t as " t h o u g h t s , images, o b j e c t s of s e n s e " a r e t h u s t h e c o l l e c t i v e memory w h i c h i n f l u e n c e s t h e memory, as w e l l as t h e a c t i o n s , of t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t . S i n c e t h e community o f s p i r i t s d e t e r m i n e s , to some e x t e n t , t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t , i t i s i n a s e n s e h i s d e s t i n y , and we may s u b s t i t u t e t h e word " d i r e c -t i v e " f o r what Y e a t s d e s c r i b e s as " i n s t i n c t " when he w r i t e s , The dead l i v i n g i n t h e i r memories a r e , I am p e r s u a d e d , t h e s o u r c e of a l l t h a t we c a l l i n -s t i n c t , and i t i s t h e i r l o v e and t h e i r d e s i r e , a l l unknowing, t h a t makes us d r i v e beyond our r e a s o n , or i n d e f i a n c e of our i n t e r e s t i t may be; ... and i n t h e i r t u r n , t h e phantoms a r e s t u n g to a k e e n e r d e l i g h t f r o m a c o n c o r d between t h e i r l u m i n o u s p u r e v e h i c l e and our s t r o n g s ens e s . (M.35 9) In the words of AE, whose c h a p t e r "The Memory of E a r t h " echoes Y e a t s ' s c o n v i c t i o n s on t h e s u b j e c t , 178 We soon grow to t h i n k our memory but a p o r t i o n of t h a t e t e r n a l memory and t h a t we i n our l i v e s a r e g a t h e r i n g an i n n u m e r a b l e e x p e r i e n c e f o r a m i g h t i e r b e i n g t h a n o u r s . ( C a n d l e o f V i s i o n 5 6) T h i s " m i g h t i e r b e i n g " i s , as he l a t e r e x p l a i n s , " o u r s e l v e s beyond t h i s m i r a g e of t i m e and s p a c e by w h i c h we a r e e n c h a n t e d " ( 1 4 8 ) . The d e g r e e to w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t i s d e t e r m i n e d , be i t by t h e c o l l e c t i v e memory or by t h e community of s p i r i t s , t h e ' r e a l i t y ' or 'God' or w h i c h i t was on c e , and w i l l be a g a i n , a p a r t , w i l l be a s c e r t a i n e d i n t h e n e x t chap-t e r , w h i c h w i l l examine Y e a t s ' s b e l i e f s on f r e e - w i l l ' and d e t e r m i n i s m , o r c h o i c e and c h a n c e , and t h e n f o c u s on t h e c h o i c e s of Y e a t s ' s most i n t r e p i d m o r t a l p r o t a g o n i s t s , t h e s e e k e r s i n t h e drama. C h a p t e r IV: "He b u r n s the e a r t h as i f he were a f i r e " : Chance, C h o i c e , and t h e S p i r i t u a l S e e k e r i n t h e Drama I In t h e n o t e s to C a l v a r y , Y e a t s h i n t s t h a t t h e i s s u e of c hance and c h o i c e i s t h e c o r n e r s t o n e o f h i s p h i l o s o p h y . He q u o t e s an o l d A r a b , a f o l l o w e r of K u s t a ben Luka on whose t e a c h i n g s Y e a t s c l a i m e d t h a t A V i s i o n was b a s e d , who e x p l a i n s t h a t , K u s t a ben L u k i [ s i c ] has t a u g h t us t o d i v i d e a l l t h i n g s i n t o Chance and C h o i c e ; one can t h i n k about t h e w o r l d and about man, or a n y t h i n g e l s e u n t i l a l l has v a n i s h e d but t h e s e two t h i n g s , f o r t h e y a r e i n d e e d t h e f i r s t c a u s e of t h e a n i m a t e and i n a n i m a t e w o r l d . (VP1 790) The r e l a t i o n s h i p of chance to c h o i c e i s examined by M i c h a e l R o b a r t e s , Y e a t s ' s a l t e r ego, i n t h e o p e n i n g s e q u e n c e t o A V i s i o n , where he remarks t o h i s f r i e n d s , I f o u n d m y s e l f upon t h e t h i r d antinomy of Immanuel K a n t , t h e s i s : freedom; a n t i t h e s i s : n e c e s s i t y ; but I r e s t a t e i t . E v e r y a c t i o n of man d e c l a r e s t h e s o u l ' s u l t i m a t e , p a r t i c u l a r f r e e d o m and t h e s o u l ' s d i s a p p e a r a n c e i n God; d e c l a r e s t h a t r e a l i t y i s a c o n g e r i e s of b e i n g s and a s i n g l e b e i n g . . . . (AV '(B) 42) That f r e e d o m and n e c e s s i t y a r e e q u a l f o r c e s i s r e i t e r a t e d i n "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " Y e a t s ' s l a t e summary of h i s 180 m e t a p h y s i c s , i n w h i c h t h e p r o b l e m of d e s t i n y i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r e s s e d ; Y e a t s s t a t e s t h a t "Though t h e S p i r i t s a r e d e t e r -mined by each o t h e r t h e y c a n n o t c o m p l e t e l y l o s e t h e i r f r e e -dom." N e v e r t h e l e s s , Y e a t s a l s o i m p l i e s i n P r o p o s i t i o n F i v e t h a t t h e s t r u g g l e of t h e i n c a r n a t e s p i r i t t o r e t a i n i t s fr e e d o m i n t h e f a c e of t h e f o r c e s of d e s t i n y i s t h e most i m p o r t a n t s t r u g g l e i n human l i f e . T h e se f o r c e s of d e s t i n y a r e , as Y e a t s a s s e r t s i n "The Seven P r o p o s i t i o n s , " t h e s p i r i t s who make up t h e " s t r e a m of s o u l s " w h i c h i s t h e u n i v e r s e , and who c o l l e c t i v e l y d e t e r m i n e , and a r e d e t e r m i n e d by, t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t . S i n c e , as Y e a t s w r o t e i n " P e r Arnica S i l e n t i a L u nae," " A l l power i s from the t e r r e s t i a l c o n d i t i o n , f o r t h e r e a l l o p p o s i t e s meet and t h e r e o n l y i s t h e extreme of c h o i c e p o s s i b l e , f u l l f r e e d o m " (M 3 5 6 ) , t h e s t r u g g l e between t h e w i l l of t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t and t h e f o r c e s of d e s t i n y i s a n o t h e r v a r i a t i o n of t h e c o n f l i c t between m o r t a l s and i m m o r t a l s i n t h e drama, oppo-s i t e s " T h a t have been h a t r e d s f o r t h r e e t i m e s t h e age of / T h i s l o n g ' s t a b l i s h e d g r o u n d " (VP1 4 7 8 ) . The d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t t h e c o n f l i c t i s now on a much l a r g e r s c a l e . The f o r c e s of d e s t i n y t a k e on v a r i o u s forms i n t h e p l a y s , a p p e a r i n g as 'God' or as t h e f o r c e s of g e n e r a t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n w h i c h he has a t h i s command, as t h e c y c l e s o f h i s t o r y w h i c h s u p e r -cede t h e c y c l e s o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t , as t h e r e p r e s s i v e f o r c e s of a p a r t i c u l a r age wh i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t must 181 e i t h e r a c c e p t or r e b e l a g a i n s t , and as the s p i r i t ' s daimon, t h a t b e i n g he l o v e s and h a t e s t h e most. The theme of chance and c h o i c e u n f o l d s on many l e v e l s i n t h e p l a y s , p a r t i c u l a r l y as i t i s o f t e n d e v e l o p e d t h r o u g h images of f i r e and b u r n i n g w h i c h a r e l i n k e d b o t h w i t h the l a r g e r f o r c e s of chance and w i t h t h e c h o i c e of t h e i n d i v i d u a l m o r t a l , and w h i c h have b r o a d r a m i f i c a t i o n s i n t h e drama. F i r e i s one of t h e most p o w e r f u l symbols of u n g o v e r n a b l e f o r c e , and t h e f o r c e s of chance (God's c h o i c e ) and c h o i c e (God's chance) a r e the u n q u a n t i f i a b 1 e e l e m e n t s i n Y e a t s ' s s y s t e m , c a p a b l e of w r e a k i n g chaos a m i d s t i t s o r d e r . F o r Y e a t s w a t e r c o n n o t e s g e n e r a t i o n , t h e g u s h i n g f o r t h of t h e f o u n d a t i o n of c r e a t i o n ; f i r e on t h e o t h e r hand c o n n o t e s d e s t r u c t i o n , f o r i t i s e q u a t e d w i t h t h e " c o n d i t i o n of f i r e [ w hich] i s a l l music and r e s t " (M 357) at t h e end of c r e a -t i o n , and w i t h t h e " f i r e s of t h e l a s t day" w h i c h w i l l d e s t r o y c r e a t i o n . W i t h r e f e r e n c e t o i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t s , w a t e r i s t h e " h e a r t , " t h e m o r t a l p a s s i o n s , but f i r e i s t h e " s o u l " (L 286), t h a t w h i c h e x i s t e d b e f o r e c r e a t i o n and w h i c h w i l l c o n t i n u e to e x i s t a f t e r i t . F o l l o w i n g t h e p a t t e r n w h i c h we have a l r e a d y u n c o v e r e d i n t h e p l a y s , images of f i r e and b u r n i n g o c c u r f a r more f r e q u e n t l y t h a n t h o s e of w a t e r and f l o o d i n g , g i v e n t h e g r e a t e r c o n c e r n of Y e a t s ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s w i t h t h e d e s t r u c t i o n 182 of c r e a t i o n . The s t r u g g l e between t h e f o r c e s of f r e e - w i l l and d e t e r m i n i s m , w h i c h w i l l i n e v i t a b l y l e a d t o a r e c o n c i l i a -t i o n of t h e s e f o r c e s and thus t o an end of " t h e w o r l d " and "man" (VP1 790) i s s i m p l y a n o t h e r v a r i a t i o n of t h i s l o n g i n g f o r d e s t r u c t i o n . The f o r c e s of c h a n c e , from c r e a t i o n ( t h e f i r s t m a n i f e s -t a t i o n o f God's c h o i c e ) i t s e l f onward, w i e l d tremendous power o v e r man i n many of t h e p l a y s . They a p p e a r i n t h e f o r m of r e c u r r i n g s p i r i t u a l and h i s t o r i c a l c y c l e s w h i c h s u p e r c e d e t h e c y c l e s of t h e i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t i n such p l a y s as The  R e s u r r e c t i o n and The H e m e ' s Egg, to g i v e o n l y v e r y o b v i o u s e x amples, and a r e h i n t e d a t i n many o t h e r s , i n c l u d i n g The 2 F u l l Moon i n March. These f o r c e s t a k e t h e i r most p o w e r f u l form, however, i n t h e m a n u s c r i p t v e r s i o n s of The P l a y e r Queen and i t s companion p l a y s , The U n i c o r n from t h e S t a r s and Where  T h e r e i s N o t h i n g , where t h e y a ppear as c y c l e s of v i o l e n t d e s t r u c t i o n w h i c h can a n n i h i l a t e t h e w o r l d at any t i m e . "'"A C o n c o r d a n c e to t h e P l a y s of W. B. Y e a t s , V o l s . I - I I ( I t h a c a & London: C o r n e l l U. P r e s s , 1972) l i s t s 174 e n t r i e s f o r f i r e , a n o t h e r 94 f o r b u r n i n g ; i t l i s t s 10 e n t r i e s f o r f l o o d , 89 f o r w a t e r , and a n o t h e r 48 f o r waves. 2 C f . F. A. C. W i l s o n ' s c o n v i n c i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h i s p l a y as a r e c r e a t i o n of t h e myth of D i o n y s u s , i n Y e a t s and  T r a d i t i o n , pp. 58-94. These s p i r i t u a l and h i s t o r i c a l c y c l e s a r e t h o r o u g h l y e x p l a i n e d i n t h e "Dove and Swan" c h a p t e r of A V i s i o n . 183 These p l a y s h i n t r a t h e r b r o a d l y at a coming c a t a c l y s m i n Y e a t s ' s own t i m e , t h e d e s t r u c t i o n of t h e w o r l d by f i r e to s u c c e e d t h e D e l u g e , t h e o r i g i n a l d e s t r u c t i o n by w a t e r . T h e r e i s i n d e e d a s e n s e o f p r o p h e t i c u r g e n c y a t t a c h e d to t h e i n t r o -d u c t i o n of t h e f o r c e s of chance t h r o u g h images of l i g h t , f i r e and b u r n i n g i n t h e s e p l a y s . S i n c e t h e s e images a r e a s s o c i -a t e d e v e r y w h e r e i n Y e a t s ' s work w i t h t h e ' o t h e r w o r l d ' i n i t s v a r i o u s g u i s e s ( t h e C h r i s t i a n God i s r e f e r r e d to as t h e L i g h t of L i g h t s i n The C o u n t e s s C a t h l e e n ; t h e T u a t h a de Danaan i n h a b i t t h e Kingdom of L i g h t ) , t h i s d e s t r u c t i o n by f i r e may mean t h e end o f t h e w o r l d as we know i t , t h r o u g h a s p i r i t u a l f i r e w h i c h w i l l d e s t r o y i t i n o r d e r to e f f e c t a r e t u r n to t h e b e g i n n i n g . T h i s i s t h e f i r e r e f e r r e d t o by t h e B r o t h e r i n Y e a t s ' s s h o r t s t o r y "Where T h e r e i s N o t h i n g , " when t h e c h i l d a s k s him, "Why i s t h e ruby a symbol of t h e l o v e of God?" Answers t h e B r o t h e r , "Because i t i s r e d , l i k e f i r e , and f i r e b u r n s e v e r y t h i n g , and where t h e r e i s n o t h i n g , t h e r e i s God" (M 1 8 5 ) . In t h e e a r l y v e r s i o n s of The P l a y e r Queen, Y e a t s h i n t s v e r y s t r o n g l y t h a t t h e d e s t r u c t i o n by f i r e w i l l s i g n a l , as t h e d e s t r u c t i o n by water d i d n o t , t h e a n n i h i l a t i o n of c r e a t i o n . However, even i f t h e w o r l d i s not p h y s i c a l l y d e s t r o y e d , man-k i n d w i l l n e v e r t h e l e s s be a f f e c t e d , f o r t h e c a t a c l y s m w i l l c e r t a i n l y b r i n g about s p i r i t u a l r e g e n e r a t i o n : i t i s l i n k e d 184 i n t h e p l a y s t o t h e p r o p h e c y of a s e c o n d coming, of a new god who w i l l announce a new s u b j e c t i v e and, f o r Y e a t s , s p i r i t u a l -l y e n l i g h t e n e d age to s u c c e e d t h e d e c a y i n g o b j e c t i v e age b r o u g h t about by t h e coming of C h r i s t . I n t h e words of AE, Out of I r e l a n d w i l l a r i s e a l i g h t t o t r a n s f o r m many ages and p e o p l e . T h e r e i s a h u r r y i n g o f f o r c e s and s w i f t t h i n g s g o i n g out and I b e l i e v e p r o f o u n d l y t h a t a new A v a t a r i s about to a p p e a r and i n a l l s p h e r e s th e f o r e r u n n e r s go b e f o r e him t o p r e p a r e . ^ In a d d i t i o n t o t h e s e i m p e r s o n a l f o r c e s of c h a n c e , t h e p l a y s r e v e a l f o r c e s more d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d w i t h th e f a t e of the i n d i v i d u a l s p i r i t . A l a r g e number of p r o t a g o n i s t s i n t h e drama f e e l t h e i n f l u e n c e o f d e s t i n y a t some p o i n t i n t h e i r l i v e s , and u s u a l l y t h r o u g h a p e r s o n a l i n t e r v e n t i o n w h i c h o f t e n m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n dreams, or i n w aking v i s i o n s and t r a n c e s ( t h e b o r d e r between t h e two w o r l d s w h i c h has a p s y c h i c a l , as much as a p h y s i c a l , r e a l i t y ) . T h i s d e s t i n y , w r i t e s Y e a t s i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u nae," i s i n f a c t man's daimon. I t h i n k t h a t a l l r e l i g i o u s men have b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e r e i s a hand not o u r s i n t h e e v e n t s of l i f e , and t h a t , as somebody s a y s i n W i l h e l m M e i s t e r , a c c i d e n t i s d e s t i n y ; and I t h i n k i t was H e r a c -l i t u s who s a i d : t h e Daimon i s our d e s t i n y . When I t h i n k of l i f e as a s t r u g g l e w i t h t h e Daimon who would e v e r s e t us t o t h e h a r d e s t work among t h o s e not i m p o s s i b l e , I u n d e r s t a n d why t h e r e i s a deep AE (George R u s s e l l ) , L e t t e r s f r o m AE t o W. B. Y e a t s , p. 17. 185 e n m i t y between a man and h i s d e s t i n y , and why a man l o v e s n o t h i n g but h i s d e s t i n y . (M 3 36) The daimon comes to man i n a f l a s h of "sudden l i g h t n i n g " (M 361) s u c h as Y e a t s d e s c r i b e d i n " V a c i l l a t i o n " and a g a i n i n " Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u nae," when, s i t t i n g i n a r e s t u a r a n t , h i s mind s u d d e n l y became pu r e and f a r e x t e n d e d and so l u m i n o u s t h a t t h e images from Anima Mundi, embodied t h e r e and d runk w i t h t h a t s w e e t n e s s , would, l i k e a c o u n t r y d r u n k a r d who has thrown a wisp i n t o h i s own t h a t c h , b u r n up t i m e . (M 365) T h i s i s but a momentary t a s t e of t h e c o n d i t i o n of f i r e , where a l l i s made c l e a r and l u c i d , and where man and h i s daimon a r e f i n a l l y u n i t e d . G u i d e d by t h i s daimon, some men w i l l make th e n e c e s s a r y c h o i c e s f o r a t t a i n i n g t h i s c o n d i t i o n r e l a t i v e l y q u i c k l y , w h i l e o t h e r s t a k e a much l o n g e r t i m e , w h i c h i s why some men go t h r o u g h t h e c y c l e s of t i m e so much f a s t e r t h a n o t h e r s , and why, though a l l j o u r n e y s began t o g e t h e r , a t c r e a t i o n , t h e r e a r e now, a c c o r d i n g to Y e a t s , s p i r i t s i n e v e r y phase o f e x i s t e n c e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e f i n a l c o n s e q u e n c e of man's b a t t l i n g w i t h the more p e r s o n a l f o r c e s of d e s t i n y , as w i t h i t s l a r g e r f o r c e s , i s u l t i m a t e l y s p i r i t u a l r e g e n e r a t i o n , an a l c h e m i c a l p r o c e s s t r a n s f o r m i n g man's s o u l and l e a d i n g t o t h e f i n a l b l a z i n g consummation o f t h e u n i o n w i t h the daimon i n t h e c o n d i t i o n of f i r e . 186 Y e a t s s t a t e s c a t e g o r i c a l l y i n "Per Arnica S i l e n t i a L u n a e " t h a t t h e g r e a t e s t c o n f l i c t , and t h e r e f o r e t h e g r e a t e s t c h o i c e , o c c u r s i n t h e m o r t a l c o n d i t i o n . T h i s i s echoed i n a number o f p l a y s , as i n The W a n d e r i n g s of O i s i n where O i s i n , h a v i n g t r a v e l l e d to t h e i s l a n d of t h e i m m o r t a l s who mock " a t Time and F a t e and Chance" (VE 20) and l i v e U n c h a i n a b l e as t h e dim t i d e , W i t h h e a r t s t h a t know n e i t h e r law nor r u l e , (VE 22) f e e l s more t h a n a l i t t l e c o n s t r a i n e d by t h e p r e s s u r e t o be j o y f u l , t h e o n l y c h o i c e i n t h a t c o n d i t i o n , and l o n g s f o r t h e o p p o r t u n i t y to b a t t l e once more w i t h "good or g r i e v o u s c h a n c e " (VE 2 4 ) . However, Y e a t s a l s o a r g u