They deny my right to live and be and call me misbirth
! My word is to them mere bitterness and my soul, pessimism.
In her final chapter, "Misbirth
of a Nation: Yeats and the Irish Free State," Harris joins the small band of intrepid scholars who have written about Yeats's nearly incomprehensible play The Herne's Egg.
bag contains a "misbirth
" (32) and later as a pair of gypsies.
Against the midwife carrying "a misbirth
with a trailing navelcord" in her bag (again, life and death) he conjures a "belly without blemish, bulging, big, a buckler of taut vellum" (46).
In A little book to comfort pregnant women, Gunther included a chapter on the causes of miscarriages and misbirths
. The first reason he gives for the occurrence of monstrous births is, "Peccatum originale, original sin, and the fall of our first parents, because if they had nor sinned, such misbirths
would be unknown." (60) Monsters are reminders of the fallen state of mankind.