Elegy Written in a Coutry Churchyard

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Q1. Discuss Gray as a transitional poet with special reference to ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’. The period 1730-1770 marks the beginning from a movement from one distinct phase of English poetry towards another .The poets were getting gradually exhausted with the neoclassical ethics of clarity, reason, sophistication, and etiquette, its economic wording, ,rationale and wit. In the literary circle can be perceived the advent of The Romanticism which however customarily began with the publication of ‘’Lyrical Ballads ‘’in 1798 which was an aesthetic rebellion against the principle of the fashionable formality of the eighteenth century Neoclassicism. These poets of this juncture- William Blake, Thomas Gray, and Robert Burns are caught in the middle of neoclassic writing and the Romantic Age, are therefore fittingly known as the Transitional poets. Gray belongs to the age (1716-1771) in which he was born as well as heralds the dawn of a new era in poetry.—he bridged the gulf. Though he retained some of the Neo-classical features like conventional poetic diction and forms, he favoured freer forms and bolder language. His poetry preached a return to nature, honest sentiment, though he shared the didacticism of the Neoclassicism. Thus he makes a dignified combination of contradictions . The chief feature of the Classical poetry which Gray inherited was the frequent tendency to be didactic and philosophical. S. A. Brooke aptly points out that Gray’s poetry was too weighted with moral reflections. His sententious moralizing are quite commonplace in ‘’Elegy’’. While glorifying the simple rustic life, Gray warns proud and ambitious people not to laugh at the low obscure social position of the poor. ‘’Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;

Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.’’
Although the humble rustics led an obscure life they might have been far happier than the pompous...
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