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Are there characteristics of the literature of sentiment and sensibility in Thomas...

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noko | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 15, 2010 at 2:45 AM via web

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Are there characteristics of the literature of sentiment and sensibility in Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM (Answer #1)

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The poetry of sentiment or sensibility strives to evoke sympathy in the reader, thus prompting the reader to commiserate with the feelings of the speaker and his/her suffering, or to sympathize with the speaker's feelings for another person.  In Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," the speaker elicits the sympathy of the reader for the country rustics buried in a "Neglected spot" who are lost to the memory of the living.

In his elegiac poem, Thomas Gray employs sensibility, elevating emotional or intellectual reaction.  For, he appeals to the pity for the ploughman or poor whose "Chill Penury repressed their noble rage," preventing them from any glory.  In the village Hampden there lies buried some "mute inglorious Milton" or some "Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood."  Instead they "kept the noiseless tenor of their way" and were unrecognized.

Poetry of sentiment and sensibility seeks to manipulate the reader's emotions; it would seem that Gray's poem accomplishes this by arousing the reader's sympathies for the abandoned residents of a small country churchyard.

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tipputhyagarajan | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted June 21, 2010 at 8:06 PM (Answer #2)

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THIS ELEGY WAS WRITTEN BY JOHN GRAY WHOM YOU CAN CALL "A JANUS FACED" PERSON . DURING THE AGE OF REASON OR THE NEO CLASSICAL AGE ,POETRY WAS ALL ABOUT BEING PRECISE AND EXACT IN FORM.THE CONTENT CONSISTED MOSTLY OF MATERIALS OF FASHION AND SATIRE THAT WOULD SUIT ONLY THE HIGHER CLASSES BUT THE RUSTICS AND VILLAGE WERE COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN.GRAY TOOK POETRY BEYOND HYDE PARK AND WROTE ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE RUSTICS THERE BY REFLECTING ABOUT THEIR UNSUNG POTENTIALS FINALLY IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS ONE AMONG THEM GIVING RESPECT TO THEIR SENTIMENTS AND SENSIBILITIES.WE ALSO SEE THAT GRAY ADOPTED THIS KIND OF CONTENT INTO THE OLD NEO CLASSICAL FORM.(THUS EXPLAINING HIS "JANUS-FACE")

 

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