Elegy written in a country churchyeard

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Analisi e commento del testo di Thomas Gray (1 pagine formato doc)

Elegy: a lament for a dead person, a meditative poem [lamento, canto funebre, spesso + strumenti musicali].
32 quatrains with alternated rhyme, decasyllabe; stanzas are complex and slow-moving. Title = important 4 setting and mood.


Classical: form (elegy, quat., regular rhy. sch., refined, strange word order), personifications, themes = passing of time, death, praise of life in the fields, regret; Romantic: figure of the poet = solitary, melancholic, generous, nature lover, modest; setting = twilight, country-side churchyard (inspired Foscolo), nature seen as made of trees&birds with their actual name (elm, yew-tree, beech, swallow) and not a Goddess; themes = praise of humble people [Gray celebrates the humble lives and the forgotten existences of the dead buried in a c.c.].


Parts: 1) 1-12: description of the setting (place, hour of the day = dusk) with its typical sounds; landscape fades; slowly because it's a peaceful life. The poet loves the night.
2) 13-28: consideration of the life of the poor, after a "link" between the two parts. About fore-fathers: what they used to do (morning: get up early, go hunting; then: fireplace, wife, children; harvest, cut wood, hard work) but can't do anymore (regret for life) = series of work in the fields. Bucholic image, even too happy. 3) 29-44: invocation to pers. of ambition ecc. (not despise); everyone is bound to the grave, exp. if you're looking for glory. Then: rhethoric questions (= no) which inspired Foscolo's "Sepolcri" [cenere muto]. Memory doesn't remember them but it's not their fault. 4) 45-76: hypoteses about people who might have lived there [what important people could've been there], poets, kings, brave people: they didn't have the opportunity to express their talent, like a gem hidden in the oceans or a flower left unseen.