Analysis Of The Poem ' Elegy Written From A Country Churchyard '

1141 Words Oct 1st, 2014 5 Pages
Essay 1: Poetic Analysis of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”

Through the text and structure of Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” he argues that everybody deserves to be remembered when they are gone, even poor, no-name, average people. In doing so, Gray also reflects on his own mortality, and leaves behind something more than just a monument of stone. He leaves behind a plea to remember those who would otherwise go unremembered embedded in his own remembrance for them. He also leaves behind a modest desired epitaph for himself—a modest man who made a name for himself. Ultimately though, Gray argues for egalitarian treatment of the dead regardless of status. Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is set in a country churchyard. The form is strict—it is written in heroic quatrains—four line stanzas, in iambic pentameter, with an ABAB rhyme scheme. Perhaps the adherence to this elevated poetic form, bolsters Gray’s attempt to show that average country men are worthy of equal treatment—especially in death. In the first stanza we know by the use of “knell” in the first line, that someone has died. From the fourth line, the author puts himself in the poem, “the world to darkness and to me.” The use of the word “o’er” in the second line is demonstrative of ‘tricks’ Gray uses to adhere to the syllabic constraints of the iambic pentameter structure. In the second stanza, Gray uses alliteration in the second line with the phrase “solemn…

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