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In Yeats’ “Leda and the Swan,” one antithetical element is found in the comparison of innocence to experience. Leda is, in my opinion, a virgin at the beginning of the poem, who is gets raped by Zeus in swan-form. The innocence is seen in “the staggering girl”(2) who is helpless and taken advantage of by Zeus, to then become consenting to the intercourse occurring. Yeats questions the reader, “Did she put on his knowledge with his power / Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?” (14-15). A certain knowledge, in the form of experience gained by having sex, is obtained by Leda, something she did not have at the beginning of the poem. The swan broke her down from being the innocent woman she was into becoming someone who knows more of the world than they previously did; she is now experienced.

See y’all on the flippity flip!!

Joe Taglieri