English Honors Papers

Document Type

Honors Paper


John Gordon

Publication Date



My paper explores the idea that Leda has been used throughout recent history as a vehicle through which artists and poets talk non-explicitly about sex. After presenting her undetermined mythical origins in chapter one, I explore different identities assumed by Leda during the half century prior to Yeats. In chapter two, I focus on Leda as universal woman, explicit character, and one who looks. In chapter three, I move to Leda's larger roles as liminal figure and portrait, and discuss the changing role of exterior versus interior perspective. Chapter four is a detailed study on Yeats' sonnet that develops into chapter five, an account of post-Yeats works that internalize enigmatic Leda's nuanced experience and continue speaking today.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.