Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Questions and Answers
by Thomas Gray

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard book cover
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How does the form and structure of "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" shape meaning? (I'm trying to access the form and structure AO2)

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Known for his juxtaposition of established forms and novel sentiments, the energetic poet Thomas Gray combines with great skill the Neoclassical style of his own century with the Romantic ideals of the next in his "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." 

Like the great poets of his age, Thomas Gray has composed his elegiac poem in Iambic Pentameter (4 unstressed/stressed syllables one after another) with a rhyme scheme of abab. That is, the first line rhymes with the third line, the second line rhymes with the last line of each stanza. This rhyme pattern is classic, and it also follows the pattern of speech in English.

Stanzas of four lines of Iambic Pentameter are known as "heroic quatrains." And, it is in writing these formal heroic quatrains that Gray has juxtaposed Neoclassical form with Romantic sentiment as he...

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