“The Second Coming” is arguably an apocalyptic poem, but people tend to get confused about apocalypses not always having to be bad; they could simply be times of great change (one world ending and another beginning and so on and so forth). It could be interesting to consider apocalypses as a genre and whether you think this is an apocalyptic poem and if so, how and why or not?

I consider “The Second Coming” as an apocalyptic poem because of the author’s life-ending choice of words like “mere anarchy is loosened upon the world” (Yeats).  The title “The Second Coming” can be a reference to biblical story of Jesus’s return, which is a sign of God’s apocalypse, as well. To many, the story of Jesus’s return is a blessing because every spiritual believer would be sent to Heaven. However, Yeat questions the logic in this optimistic way of thinking and considers “the second coming” as a more grim outlook. This is because he ends his poem with the phrase “…slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” (Yeat). For context, Bethlehem is seen as a holy center for those who are saved by Jesus. By the author adding the question mark at the end of the phrase shows his skepticism in whether or not those who die in the apocalypse will actually be saved by this higher being in the “second coming”.  Therefore, this poem is a perfect example of an apocalyptic genre since all hope is nonexistent.

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