Theme and Subject
The themes treated in the Elegy are familiar, and nothing initial in these people. According to Douglas Bush " theElegy is a mosaic of classic motifs, classical and contemporary. " The dominant theme of the poem is loss of life. It handles the death of the impolite fore fathers of the village, death being a common occurence in the world and the anticipated loss of life of the youngsters who could be the poet himself or the his friend Western in in whose memory the poem has become written. In fact the darkness of death hovers over the poem. The opening collection itself, while using curfew tolling 'the knell of the separating day' is usually indicative of death. An additional theme cured in the Elegy is the transitoriness of all human being glory and joy. The poet attempts to show that every 'the paths of wonder lead but to the burial plot. ' Simply by implication, the futility of human ambitions and dreams is hinted at. The contrast between lives with the rich and poor or maybe the privileged plus the unprivileged forms another idea in the composition. The poet person shows how the poor are not in a position to enjoy the luxuries and happiness of life in this world. Their low income proves a great obstacle in the path of their progress. Nevertheless this lower income is a blessing in conceal. If it will not allow visitors to rise larger, it also restrains them coming from doing bad, by restricting their power to do so. The rich, on the other hand, possess the electric power and methods to do great to themselves and the universe. But they also include powers to commit mischief and take destruction on innocent persons. The composition also deals with the desire intended for fame, the desire to be appreciated after death. This topic is cared for along with other designs in the poem. The poet shows how even the poor rustics make an effort to perpetuate their very own memory through inscriptions on some 'frail memorial' filled with 'uncouth rhymes' and 'shapeless sculpture'. Despite the dominance of the concept of the death, the Elegy also presents a nostalgic desiring life. It shows just how no person dies without casting a single longing lingering look behind. A desire for sympathy and for being recalled after death is present in the poem. Thus the Elegy deals with several themes. These kinds of themes may not be original but Gray's method of treating them has loaned a push and urgency to all of them.
Critical Summary of the Poem
The Elegy is a poem consisting of 128 lines broken into 32 poeme including three stanzas dedicated to the epitaph. Each strain is do it yourself contained and generally conveys a complete sense. The movement of thought from one stanza to a new takes place within a smooth way. The structure of the complete poem can be skillfully prepared and gives the impression of the carefully designed edifice.
The first stanza (lines 1-4) presents an attractive picture of the natural field in the evening, and sets the tone and atmosphere with the poem. The morning is over and the cattle happen to be moving slowly and gradually after the day's toil. The ploughmen, tired after the day's toil, will be returning home. The poet/speaker is still left alone engulfed in darkness like the remaining world.
All this description is highly pictorial in manner and conjures up wonderfully the ominous atmosphere in the evening. Most likely, the poet aims at preparing the readers to read about his depressing and pensive thoughts. Graham Hough feedback " Greyish is here much less concerned with mother nature as a subject of careful consideration than with readers -- your readers whom this individual wishes to lull to a resigned, loyal, summer night time frame of mind. "
Stanza 14 and 111 continue the description with the calm and quiet atmosphere of the night time. While the darkness slowly descends on earth, 'the glimmering landscape' fades, as well as the atmosphere is calm and still. This quiet and quietness is annoyed only by noise made by the wheeling beetle as well as the tinkling in the drowsy cattle in the 'distant fold'. The breaking of the silence with the evening is also caused by the 'moping owl' from the 'ivy mantled' tower system, who gripes to the celestial satellite about the solitary tourist who has...
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