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'Sailing to Byzantium' by W.B. Yeats: brief-answer Questions

Sailing to Byzantium

by W.B. Yeats

1. What does ‘Byzantium’ Symbolize in the poem "Sailing to Byzantium”. [NU 2017]

Ans: In Yeats’ poem 'Sailing to Byzantium', Byzantium symbolizes an ideal country for art, culture and philosophy.

2. Why does the poet want to sail to the holy city of Byzantium? [NU 2014]

Ans: The poet wants to sail to the holy city of Byzantium because Ireland is not a country for an old man but Byzantium is the place where spiritual activities are practiced.

3. What does the poet want to sail to the holy city of Byzantium?

Ans: The poet wants to sail to the holy city of Byzantium because Ireland is not a country for an old man but Byzantium is the place where spiritual activities are practiced.

4. What is a scare-crow mentioned in "Sailing to Byzantium”?

Ans: A scarecrow mentioned in "Sailing to Byzantium" is a dummy in the shape of a human. It is usually dressed in old clothes and placed in open fields to discourage crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.

5. What is Bethelhem?

Ans: Bethelham is the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

6. What is Byzantium?

Ans: Byzantium is the ancient Greek city on the site that later became Constantinople or Istanbul. But in Yeats’ poem it is treated as a symbol of Paradise as well as Purgatory.

7. What is the element that death is most associated with in "Sailing to Byzatium"?

Ans: In "Sailing to Byzatium", the element that death is most associated with is the corporeal form of human beings.

8. What request does Yeats make to the sages standing in God’s holy fire?

Ans: Yeats requests the sages standing in God’s holy fire to be the singing master of his soul and to ‘consume’ his heart.

9. What was Byzantium famous for?

Ans: Byzantium was famous for art, culture and philosophy.

10. Where is Bethlehem?

Ans: Bethlehem is situated in the Judaean Hills, five miles south of Jerusalem.

11. Where is Byzantium?

Ans: Byzantium is in Turkey.

12. Who are the ‘dying generation’? [NU 2015]

Ans: The dying generations, according to the poet, include birds, young lovers, salmons, mackerels and so on that are engaged in sex and are heading towards nothing but death.

13. Why does the poet want to sail to the holy city of Byzantium?

Ans: The poet wants to sail to the holy city of Byzantium because Ireland is not a country for an old man but Byzantium is the place where spiritual activities are practiced.

14. Why does W. B. Yeats want to go to the Byzantium?

Ans: W. B. Yeats wants to go to the Byzantium for doing spiritual and intellectual activities in that holy land and not to endure the physical and sensuous pleasures of life in Ireland.

15. What does ‘the Spiritus Mundi’ Symbolize?

Ans: Spiritus Mundi symbolizes the collective soul of the universe containing the memories of all time.

16. What is "Spiritus Mundi"?

Ans: 'Spiritus Mundi' was a term used by W.B. Yeats to describe the collective soul of the universe containing the memories of all time. From 'Spiritus Mundi,' Yeats believed, came all poets' inspiration.

17. Why does the 'Spiritus Mundi' appeare fearful?

Ans: The image that appear from the “Spiritus Mundi', seems fearful because it is a rough beast having the body of a lion and the head of a man, and also having a blank and pitiless gaze.

18. What is scare-crow?

Ans: A scare-crow is an object, usually made to resemble a human figure, set up to scare birds away from a field where crops are growing.

19. Who, according to the poet, are the dying generations?

Ans: The dying generations, according to the poet, include birds, young lovers, salmons, mackerels and so on that are engaged in sex and are heading towards nothing but death.

20. Why does Yeats want to go to Byzantium?

Ans: The poet wants to go to the holy city of Byzantium because Ireland is not a country for an old man but Byzantium is the place where spiritual activities are practiced.

21. Why has the poet gone to the holy city of Byzantium?

Ans: The poet wants to go to the holy city of Byzantium because Ireland is not a country for an old man but Byzantium is the place where spiritual activities are practiced.

22. Why does Yeats invite the rough beast at Bethelhem?

Ans: Yeats invites the imaginary rough beast at Bethelhem to be born.

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