Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Criticism

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Over the years, Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" has received extensive critical attention. Critics have long recognized Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" for its restrained and dignified expression of simple truths. In Lives of the English Poets, Samuel Johnson praised the poem for its universal appeal and its originality: "The 'Churchyard' abounds with images which find a mirrour in every mind, and with sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo are to me original.... Had Gray written often thus, it had been vain to blame, and useless to praise him." Other writers, such as Samuel Coleridge and Matthew Arnold, also admired the work, although Arnold's criticism was somewhat cautious. Arnold noted in his Essays in Criticism that "the 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' is a beautiful poem ... But it is true that the 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' owe[s] much...

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This section contains 437 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.