illustration of a country churchyward with a variety of gravestones

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

by Thomas Gray

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What are 5 details of settings that Gray uses to idealize the pastoral landscape in the poem?

Expert Answers

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A very subtle question. I would say that it isn't the details, but how they are delivered that idealize the landscape.
Line 1: the day is "parting" (not just ending).
Line 2: the herd "winds" (makes a pattern, rather than just walking)
Line 3 and 4: the plowman's plodding is directed and purposeful, and actively gives the land to the speaker.

Line 6: the quiet is "solemn" (it isn't just quiet—it has an emotional charge)
Line 7: the beetle "wheels" (making a pattern, and one that fits with the winding mentioned earlier).
There are others; all the description does this.

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