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What are some of the "sound devices" used in  "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"...

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manaljaber | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted March 10, 2011 at 5:18 AM via web

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What are some of the "sound devices" used in  "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray?

I am especially interested in alliteration, onomopotaeia, and rhyme.

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 10, 2011 at 10:02 AM (Answer #1)

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In his famous "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," Thomas Gray uses several forms of poetic "sound devices."  Here are some examples.

1. Alliteration: The repetition of initial consonant sounds.

Line 2: "The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea"

Line 4: "The plowman homeward plods his weary way"

Line 28: "How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke"

2. Rhyme:

In most places, Gray uses standard, "full" rhyme: day-lea, sight-flight, holds-folds, complain, reign, etc.

Occasionally, though, Gray uses partial rhymes.

Lines 29,31: toil, smile

Lines 30, 32: obscure, poor

Lines 58, 60: withstood, blood

Some of these may indicate that Gray's pronunciation was different than our contemporary pronunciation.  In other cases , he may simply be "stretching" his rhymes.

Onomatopoeia: words that imitate a sound (moo, meow, etc.)

I have not been able to find examples of onomatopoeia in Gray's "Elegy."  At first, I thought that the words "tolls," "knell," and "lowing," might be onomatopoeic, but the dictionaries I consulted do not seem to agree with this theory.

 

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bmarie1581 | Student | eNoter

Posted March 21, 2012 at 1:49 AM (Answer #2)

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jmj616 - I've got a book that gives an example of an onomatopoeia it does confirm your idea. "The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea" because the word "lowing" suggests cows mooing.

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:30 PM (Answer #3)

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bmarie1281: Interesting!

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frankie-saldana | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:39 PM (Answer #4)

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NOOBS

 

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