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'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' by Thomas Gray Brief-answer Questions

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Thomas Gray

1. Who is Thomas Gray? 

Ans: Thomas Gray is an English poet, letter-writer and classical scholar. He was a professor at Pembroke College, Cambridge..

2. What type of work is "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"?

Ans: "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is an elegy.

3. What is an elegy?

Ans: An elegy is a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.

4. What is a pastoral elegy?

Ans: A Pastoral elegy is poem in which the poet speaks in the guise of a shepherd in a peaceful landscape and expresses his grief on the death of another shepherd.

5. What is the setting of the poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard?"

Ans: The setting of the poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the cemetery of a rural church.

6. What does ‘parting day’ refer to?

Ans: Parting day refers to the end of the day.

7. What does the owl complain to the moon?

Ans: The owl complains to the moon about somebody for causing disturbance to her secrecy and for molesting her ancient solitary reign.

8. What is a beetle?

Ans: Beetle is a kind of dark-coloured insect.

9. What is ivy?

Ans: Ivy is a kind of ever green plant.

10. What does 'hamlet' refer to?

Ans: ‘Hamlet’ refers to small village.

11. What kind of life did the villagers had in the poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”?

Ans: As portrayed in the poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” the villagers had honest and simple life with useful toils, homely joys and with obscure destiny.

12. Who does Gray mourn in the poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"?

Ans: Gray in his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” mourns the death of common men buried in a rural graveyard.

13. Who are the rude forefathers of the hamlet in 'Elegy written in a Country Churchyard"? 

Ans: In "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" the rude forefathers of the hamlet are the common rustic village people.

14. What does the poet mean by "Simple annals of the poor"? 

Ans: By "Simple annals of the poor", the poet means the simple life-stories of the poor villagers.  

15. What is heraldry? 

Ans: Heraldry is the science and the art that deal with the use, display, and regulation of hereditary symbols employed to distinguish individuals, armies, institutions, and corporations. Gray has used the term to mean family pride. 

16. "The paths of glory lead but to the grave"—What figure of speech is used here?

Ans: This is a satirical statement which is an example of Epigram. At the same time there is alliteration in this line where /g/ sound is repeated in the words “glory” and “grave”.

17. What does the phrase "madding crowd" mean?

Ans: The phrase "madding crowd" means the din and bustle of town where the gathering of people is so large that it creates psychological pressure on the dwellers.  

18. Whom does Gray compare the dead villagers with?

Ans: Gray compares the dead villagers with famous leaders and poets.

19. Who was Hampden?

Ans: Hampden was a Puritan politician who opposed the policies of King Charles I. He refused to pay a tax which he thought to be unfair.

20. Who was Cromwell?

Ans: Cromwell was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540.

21. What are dirges?

Ans: Dirges are somber songs or lament expressing mourning or grief, such as would be appropriate for performance at a funeral.

22. What is an epitaph?

Ans: An epitaph is an inscription on a tomb.