Contemporary criticism of William Butler Yeats overwhelmingly takes ethical or historicist approaches. This thesis turns instead to an existential-psychodynamic approach based on the framework of Terror Management Theory, a social psychology research paradigm closely associated with the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, whose canon proposes that death anxiety is a unique and major defining feature of the human condition. The work of Harold Bloom is argued to be founded on similar theoretical grounds as Terror Management Theory, particularly in a recognition of Søren Kierkegaard’s prioritization of the existential dilemma and Sigmund Freud’s rearguard displacement of it into his sexual theory. Terror Management Theory and Harold Bloom are read in parallel to create a psychohistorical argument about human culture and English Romantic poetry. Yeats’s thought and art are then interpreted through this lens. Early, formative disruptions in Yeats’s cultivation of stable self-esteem and a coherent worldview result in his realization of the significance of death anxiety, prompting ongoing psychological disruptions across his lifespan. This leads Yeats to develop an art based on vacillation between themes, choices, and spiritual states that mimics the experience of continual psychological disruption. Spotlighting his efforts to construct aesthetics of vacillation and immediacy, this project also argues that Yeats’s lifelong obsessive attempts to intellectually escape time and history arise from an almost ever-present awareness of death’s necessity.