Tag Archives: Symbols

II. His Ruling Symbols from The Philosophy of Shelley’s Poetry in Ideas of Good and Evil by William Butler Yeats.

“often caves are, he says, symbols of ‘all invisible power; because as caves are obscure and dark, so the essence of all these powers is occult,’ and quotes a lost hymn to Apollo to prove that nymphs living in caves fed men ‘from intellectual fountains’; and he contends that fountains and rivers symbolize generation, and that the word nymph ‘is commonly applied to all souls descending into generation,’ and that the two gates of Homer’s cave are the gate of generation and the gate of ascent through death to the gods, the gate of cold and moisture, and the gate of heat and fire.” [via]

II. His Ruling Symbols from The Philosophy of Shelley’s Poetry in Ideas of Good and Evil by William Butler Yeats.

“It may be that his subconscious life seized upon some passing scene, and moulded it into an ancient symbol without help from anything but that great memory; but so good a Platonist as Shelley could hardly have thought of any cave as a symbol, without thinking of Plato’s cave that was the world; and so good a scholar may well have had Porphyry on ‘the Cave of the Nymphs’ in his mind.” [via]