How far has Shelley followed the conventions of the pastoral elegy in "Adonais"?
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Like most romantics working in tradtional poetic forms, Shelley reaches outside the usual conventions in some areas. First, the range of emotions is expanded; Shelley uses ejaculations and intense imagery to reveal his passions, whereas poets within the neo-classical tradition maintained an even, sombre tone, as Thomas Gray does in Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Second, Shelley works in his own agenda, touching on personal and political issues that have little to do with Keats, the subject of his mourning. Nevertheless, Shelley uses a tight stanzaic form, evokes classical figures, touches on universal themes such as love and death, personifies inanimate elements, and sustains lofty diction throughout.
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