Elegy Written In A Country Chrchyard Essay

10 October 2017

, Research Paper


Thomas Gray? s Elegy laments the decease of life in general while mourning long gone ascendants and

exhibiting the passage made by the talker, from heartache and mourning to acceptance and trust. It was

written in 1742 and revised to its published signifier in 1746, and is one of the three high spots of the

elegiac signifier in English literature, the others being Milton? s? Lycidas? and Tennyson? s In Memoriam. It

was foremost published, anonymously, in 1751, under the rubric & # 8220 ; An Elegy wrote in a State

Churchyard. & # 8221 ; Although believed to be started in 1742 the exact day of the month of composing of the Elegy, apart

from the reasoning stanzas, can non be precisely determined. The Elegy was concluded at Stoke Poges in

June, 1750, where Gray was buried. The God’s acre as described by Gray is typical instead than

peculiar ; of the five disputed & # 8220 ; masters & # 8221 ; Stoke Poges bears the least resemblance to the cemetery in the


The verse form starts off dark and drab frequently bestiring images of decease. The first four stanzas set up

the clip and scene of the verse form. There was a curfew around the clip that this was written and the first

line supports this. It was wrung at eight Os? clock as a signal for snuff outing fires and marked the terminal

of the twenty-four hours. The first stanza besides includes a? ploughman? ( line 3 ) who, after a difficult twenty-four hours, is on his manner

place. There is a? solemn hush? ( line6 ) which besides suggests dusk or some clip in the eventide. Line

15 topographic points the talker in the verse form in a cemetery. ? Each in his narrow cell everlastingly laid? ( line 15 )

describes people resting everlastingly in their narrow cells, which are normally associated with caskets or the

narrow Gravess that they were placed into.

The talker of the verse form so goes on to speak about the lost pleasances of the dead. Line 21 starts

depicting these pleasances by utilizing a fireplace or a hearth which symbolises the visible radiation of life. The

? sires? mentioned in the 4th stanza will no longer experience the heat of the fire ( line 21 ) or the

love of a adult female ( line 22 ) . They will non see being welcomed by their childs when they come place

from work or the Fieldss ( line23 ) and holding them? mount their articulatio genuss? for a buss. All these things are

worldly pleasures that the dead will no longer experience.

Stanzas seven through nine trade with decease as a portion of life. For case, in line 29 and 30 the

talker provinces that they shouldn? t allow their aspirations confuse their fate, intending the dead. Every one

of us awaits the? inevitable hr? ( line35 ) and all our work, wealth, ownerships and beauty that our life

bestows on us all lead to the same? waies? . ? The waies of glorification? ( line 36 ) which? lead but to the grave? .

This besides evokes the feeling of hopelessness ( brought approximately by the decease of his friend ) which Gray must hold

been traveling through at the clip he wrote this. The basic construct of these few stanzas is that no affair what

one does in his or her life and how valuable he or she believes it is one can non get away decease ; decease is


The following subdivision of the lament ( stanzas 10 -15 ) goes into the description of T

he unhonored dead or

people who received no acknowledgment for their life? s work. We foremost see this in line 45 where the talker

poses a inquiry. ? Possibly in this ignored topographic point is laid / Some bosom & # 8230 ; fire? are the two lines that

present the inquiry who lies in this grave? and are they of import? The talker so says that there are

many great people born who are ne’er recognised. Like a flower in a desert they? bloom spiritual world? and

? waste their sugariness on the desert air? ( lines 55-56 ) They could hold been a? small town Hampden? ( line57 )

in mention to John Hampden who defied King Charles I by defying his resurgence of a revenue enhancement on transportation

without the consent of the Parliament. The talker besides includes Milton and Cromwell. These people

could hold been celebrated but? They kept the noiseless tenor of their manner? ( line 76 ) and take a different

manner of life. They were ne’er of import but they will ever be a? portion of history in a states

eyes? ( line 64 ) . They will populate on in the memories of their friends and relations.

The people who are being described by the talker could hold been? pregnant with heavenly

fire? ( line46 ) , in other words they might hold been particular, but they ne’er were. However they will populate on

everlastingly as ordinary people in our memories: ? & # 8230 ; in our ashes live their accustomed fires? ( line 92 ) . This is

exemplified in stanza 24 when the talker makes a mention to Gray himself. The talker states that

Gray is aware of the? unhonored dead? ( line 93 ) and by associating their? artless narrative? ( line 94 ) forever

Burnss their memory into our heads.

The Elegy takes a sudden bend in stanza 24. Gray now incorporates himself as an person who

might besides be remembered. ? Haply some hoary-headed boyfriend may state? ( line 97 ) or possibly some

gray adult male may one twenty-four hours retrieve Gray as he walked with? headlong stairss? ( line 99 ) at? the cheep of

morning? ( line 98 ) to see the dawn on the? highland lawn? or tableland. This history continues up to and

including stanza 29 where Grey walks into a cemetery and reads his ain headstone which is included

as the last three stanzas of the Elegy as the Epitaph. It is non, nevertheless, his headstone but that of his

friend. He sees his friend in himself merely as we soon see our sires in ourselves and so he places

his ain name on the headstone.

By the terminal of the Elegy the talker learns to accept his loss. The realization that life goes on and

that the memory of his friend will populate on, merely as his will populate on, helps to get by with the loss. Grey

started the Elegy by showing the reader with a quandary. In this instance that quandary was How do I get by

with my loss? By the terminal of the Elegy that quandary was answered. The reply was that his friend will

live on in his bosom and subsequently in his remains as supported by line 92: ? & # 8230 ; in our Ashes live their & # 8230 ; fires? .


Starr, Herbert W. , erectile dysfunction. Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Columbus, Ohio:

Charles E. Merril Pub. Co. , 1968


Young, Robyn L. , erectile dysfunction. Poetry Criticism, vol. 2. Detroit, 1991


Magill, Frank N. , erectile dysfunction. Critical Survey of Poetry, English Language Series. California, 1992

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