Analysis Of Thomas Gray 's ' Essay

1541 Words Dec 12th, 2016 7 Pages
Thomas Gray’s Steps to Immortality
Thomas Gray’s mournful poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” provides an elegy for the common man that is so often forgotten. However, this poem also serves as Gray’s instruction manual on how to come to terms with one’s own morality when all humans have a natural need for immortality. He establishes the effects that death and contemplations of death have on individuals and the hope that is to be found within such grim circumstances. In addition, he provides the resulting steps that should be taken in light of death’s effects in order to satisfy one’s craving for remembrance after death. Gray provides insight into death and how to deal with its inevitability, which applies to all men because everyone is isolated by death, equal in everything but opportunity, plagued by a need for immortality, and worthy of remembrance.
Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” begins by establishing the isolation that death and even the contemplation of death brings to all men. With the opening lines, the poet sets the tone of the poem: “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day… And leaves the world to darkness and to me” (Gray 1, 4). These lines convey the ever-present position death has in the speaker’s life. The toll of the bell is simply a reminder that death comes to all. These lines paired with the title of the poem reveals that the poet is having these contemplations about death alone. The significance of this is reinforced further on in…

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