William Butler Yeats was born near Dublin in 1865, and was encouraged from a young age to pursue a life in the arts. He attended art school for a short while, but soon found that his talents and interest lay in poetry rather than painting. He became an instrumental figure in the "Irish Literary Revival" of the 20th Century that redefined Irish writing. Early in life, Yeats developed a love for the green hills and lakes of Sligo, where he spent much of his early childhood. It became a figurative place he would revisit often in his literature. Features of Sligo appear throughout his 1894 play, "The Land of Heart's Desire", one of Yeats best and most well-known works. The play describes an encounter between a fairy child and newlyweds Shawn and Bridget Bruin, and explores themes of mysticism and the temporary nature of life. Yeats felt an internal struggle with the contradictions he felt in his nature and in life, and spent much of his life seeking out a philosophical system to resolve this conflict.
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