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Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Summary
Thomas Gray

Everything you need to understand or teach Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray.

  • Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Summary & Study Guide

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Summary

Introduction

Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" was first published in 1751. Gray may, however, have begun writing the poem in 1742, shortly after the death of his close friend Richard West. An elegy is a poem which laments the dead. Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is noteworthy in that it mourns the death not of great or famous people, but of common men. The speaker of this poem sees a country churchyard at sunset, which impels him to meditate on the nature of human mortality. The poem invokes the classical idea of memento mori, a Latin phrase which states plainly to all mankind, "Remember that you must die." The speaker considers the fact that in death, there is no difference between great and common people. He goes on to wonder if among the lowly people buried in the churchyard there had been any natural poets or politicians...

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Study Pack

The Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Study Pack contains about 84 pages of study material in 4 products, including:

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Study Guide

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