Yeats and his shadow are one of the most closely scrutinised pairs in contemporary literary history. The meaning and significance Yeats gave to the entity by which he was constantly pursued and with which he held frequent colloquy have been held under the critical microscope, and the shadow has emerged alternately as the course of human history, the poet’s alter-ego, his inner self, the natural man, or as anything that Yeats wanted but believed himself not to be.
This title, first published in 1988, examines the influence that Shelley had on Yeats and this ‘shadow’. The study concentrates primarily on the complex influence of Shelley’s Alastor on Yeats, tracing the problems it suggests and the questions it raises from Yeats’s early, highly imitative poems through the austere, unromantic middle poems to the late poems where Yeats sees himself as the "last of the romantics". This title will be of interest to students of literature.