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Thomas Gray, "Elegy..."
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Thomas Gray, "Elegy..."

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  • 1. 18th centuryShares characteristics with Neoclassicaland Romantic poetry Neoclassical (earlier): Polished expression of ideas Balanced phrases, sophisticated vocabulary Romantic (later): Focus on nature, common man Expression of heightened feelings
  • 2. 1716-17711 of 12 to survive infancySickly childLived with mother, auntsuntil 30+Wrote slowly, perfectionistFew poems written butconsidered to be some ofthe finest in Englishlanguage
  • 3. Written between 1742and 1750Gray’s best knownpoemVery popularMan going on a strollthrough churchyard
  • 4. Elegy = somber poem that laments the dead Not a true elegy…he is mourning what they could have beenThemes: Life is short Many talented people never get the opportunities they deserve