Formal Approach to Thomas Gray's Elegy (Eulogy) Written in a Country Churchyard

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Formal Approach to Thomas Gray's Elegy (Eulogy) Written in a Country Churchyard Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is a very structured poem with a set number of lines per stanza, and a specific rhyme scheme throughout the entire poem. The poem focuses on Gray's thoughts while he visits a country churchyard, and ends with an epitaph written on one of the tombstones in the churchyard. The setting of a country churchyard automatically gives way to a small and unknown graveyard, and those that inhabit the graveyard are not going to be well known people in the community or in American history. Gray's form and style allow for the reader to see the churchyard he is in, and the metaphors and symbolism he uses open…show more content…
Gray uses not only the form of the poem as symbolism, but he also uses the text to evoke images into the reader minds. " Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap..." (14). Grey's word choice in this line evokes an image of the graveyard and the different plots around him, and the aging of each of the graves in the graveyard. The molding of the plots gives the image of a piece of bread that has aged and become green and black with the mold. Grey also uses metaphors to get across the message of the poem: Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And wastes its sweetness on the desert air.(53-56) This stanza becomes one of the focal points of the entire elegy. It is taking the metaphor of a bright object hidden behind a larger darker object. This metaphor shows that in life that the greatest things in life might never be seen or experienced, because they are never noticed or are so hidden from society so they will never become a part of society. This holds true for the greatest things in life whether it is a flower, gem, or person. Those things will not be noticed by society because they are so hidden in life that no one ever takes the time to stop and realize the beauty or full potential of that object. The point of view in the poem is form Gray's perspective as to what

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