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

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard book cover
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What is Gray's attitude toward death in "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard?"

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In "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," Thomas Gray's attitude toward death at first is that everyone faces the same end, regardless of their social standing or sense of importance:

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

With many of the lines of this poem, the author notes the positions in life that the living once held, and the activities that filled their days. He compares the powerful and humble. The mighty reach an end that is exactly the same as the lowly:

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,

Awaits alike th' inevitable hour...

Gray asks if a "neglected spot" he sees in the graveyard might hold the body of one in life who was powerful and revered:

...is laid...Some heart...that the rod of empire might have sway'd,

The author envisions those whose lives were filled not with greatness as it might be deemed by some, but a significant joy in the pursuit of family life:

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply...

(The entire section contains 630 words.)

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