Critically evaluate 'Lycidas' as an elegy.

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This famous pastoral elegy was written in response to the death of a friend of Milton's, Edward King, who drowned in 1637, as the introduction to this poem indicates. In a sense, this pastoral elegy is written deliberately in the vein of pastoral elegies that came before "Lycidas ," such as those by Spenser, Ronsard, Theocritus and Virgil, to name but a few. Its influence can also be seen in later pastoral elegies such as "Adonais" by Shelley and "Thyrsis" by Arnold. Generally speaking, pastoral elegies contained the following conventions: a history of past friendship, a questioning of destiny, a procession of mourners, a laying on of flowers, a...

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