My analysis of the “Elegy written in a Country churchyard” aims to point out similarities and differences between the elegiac mourning for the dead in Gray’s verses and the rhetoric of the funeral sermons, and meditations on death, which were part of the eighteenth-century encyclopaedia. Echoes of Meditations among the Tombs by James Hervey can be perceived throughout the poem. This intense intertextuality unveils a discourse on death which Gray inherited from past ages and then remoulded to express not only the sufferings of the bereaved, but also the soothing effect of memories, annals, anthems, and uncouth verses. My second point will be that the speaking ‘I’ will try to reproduce communication in the presence of the audience and the dead, which is typical of funeral sermons. Dramatically, the “Elegy” will end with an epitaph and a plea for silence.

Gray’s ‘Elegy’: a polyphonous elegy sung to the silence of death

DONGU, MARIA GRAZIA
2017

Abstract

My analysis of the “Elegy written in a Country churchyard” aims to point out similarities and differences between the elegiac mourning for the dead in Gray’s verses and the rhetoric of the funeral sermons, and meditations on death, which were part of the eighteenth-century encyclopaedia. Echoes of Meditations among the Tombs by James Hervey can be perceived throughout the poem. This intense intertextuality unveils a discourse on death which Gray inherited from past ages and then remoulded to express not only the sufferings of the bereaved, but also the soothing effect of memories, annals, anthems, and uncouth verses. My second point will be that the speaking ‘I’ will try to reproduce communication in the presence of the audience and the dead, which is typical of funeral sermons. Dramatically, the “Elegy” will end with an epitaph and a plea for silence.
978-3-319-55758-8
978-3-319-55759-5 (Online)
Death; Pragmene; Elegy; Gray; Epitaph
Morte; Pragmene; Elegia; Gray; Epitaffio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/212376
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