• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Arnold's Pastoral Elegies

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Arnold's Pastoral Elegies Pastoral elegies had its origin in the classical poets of ancient Greece, viz, Theocritus, Bion and Moschus. It was lyric in character and dealt with the simple life of shepherds and their day to day occupations, such as singing with their oaten pipes in the flowery meadows, piping as though they would never be old, tending their folk of sheep. The essence of pastoral poetry is simplicity of thought and action in a rustic setting. Perhaps Arnold's two best-known poems are "The Scholar Gipsy" and "Thyrsis", which are generally labeled as pastoral elegies deeply steeping in classical lore. "The Scholar Gipsy", ostensibly about a seventeenth-century Oxford student who disappeared among the Gypsies is really about the poet himself and his generation, the scholar gypsy becomes a symbol in the light of which Arnold can develop his own position and state his own problems. Drawing on his knowledge of rustic scenes around Oxford, he produced a meditative pastoral poem whose language owes something to Theocritus but whose tone and emotional coloring are very much Arnoldian. ...read more.

Middle

The idyllic picture of the countryside around Oxford compose the setting of this poem. Again there is a contrast between the sophisticated life of the civilized men and the uneventful, simple life of the shepherds who catch rare glimpses of the Scholar-Gipsy, and this contrast is a mark of pastoral poetry. Arnold has filled the landscape with humanity and its work with shepherd and reaper, hunters and oarsmen, dancing maidens and wandering youths. "Thyrsis", a pastoral elegy, written to commemorate Arnold's friend Arthur Hugh Clough, who had died in 1861, in closely linked to "The Scholar-Gipsy", though written many years after it. It has the same stanza form, the same general tone, it is set in the same Cumner country South-west of Oxford where Arnold and Clough had often worked together and it contains actual reference to "The Scholar-Gipsy", a favorite poem of Clough. Though the influence of the Greek pastoral poets is clearly discernable, i.e., written in the Theocritan pastoral convention, the poem is steeped in that same deep feeling for the English countryside that we find ...read more.

Conclusion

But he hopes that "through the great town's harsh, heart-wearing roar" Thyrsis's voice will come to him, driving away fatigue and fear: "Let in thy voice a whisper often come; To chase fatigue and fear, 'Why fainest thou? I wandered till I died. Roam on! The light we sough is shining still. Dost thou ask proof? Our tree yet crowns the hill, Our Scholar travels yet the loved hill-side." [Thyrsis: Matthew Arnold] For the English people Arnold professed contempt; for English scenery he had conceived a passionate love, which inspired him to write passages of descriptive verse in a manner peculiarly his own, and with a power, which, in the special and limited field of its exercise, is unrivalled. In his elegiac verse he allows free play to the two strongest feelings of which he was capable, and it is the union of both in the same compositions, which constitutes the affecting truth and simple charm of this class of his poetry. Here he is most nearly a great poet, because he is most simply himself. Arnold's Pastoral Elegies - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Dickinson's BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH

    just to approve or disapprove a literary structure as an object of evaluation, but to prove or disprove it as an object of perception. However, the difficulty is lifted when we recognize that the text already contains, in the shape of a given, a partial or implied mimesis of the ways of the interpretive community.

  2. Compare the poems 'Elegy for Himself' and 'No More Pain'.

    Like Tichbourne, Moody begins his poem by looking at himself, however he refers to himself indirectly and in third person: 'a grown man'. He is distancing himself from his situation in order to be able to write about a subject that is so emotional for him, in the same way as Tichbourne uses a rigid structure.

  1. "The Ancient Mariner".

    By representing the aspects of salvation with concepts of the sea, Coleridge makes his message of repentance and humility easier to understand. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834) Type of Work: Lyrical fantasy ballad Setting A sailing ship traveling the seas; late Medieval

  2. The changing tradition of war poetry

    He uses vivid images of how the soldiers were going through war. The theme of this poem is to show the true realties of war. Wilfred Owen wants to tell the reader that war is not like a game and that dying for your country isn't glorious.

  1. A Biographical Analysis of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

    He did so in hopes of evading a large debt to the college, but was later discharged with the help of his brother, Reverend George Coleridge (Fry, 4).

  2. "Poems of Lonely Terror." (W. H. Auden) A Critical Discussion of Arnold's 'Dover Beach', ...

    example of how England's faith and unwavering trust in religion in previous years was at it's strongest, but is now slowly and surely withdrawing back into emptiness. Arnold is ranting in his own way regarding the retraction from belief in Christianity and is linking it with the transient demise of the population.

  1. A biographical analysis of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    In the years to follow, Samuel would repeatedly take lengthy trips with his friends, often leaving his wife and children at home. One of these lengthy trips was a tour of Germany, which Coleridge underwent with William and Dorothy Wordsworth in hopes of gathering inspirational information for his master opus (Fry, 6).

  2. Elegiac and Melancholy in Arnold.

    Consequently, there hangs an air of melancholy, a sense of loneliness and of quiet desperation. So "the instrument on which he (Arnold) plays is like a violin played by a regretful artist in a lonely room." But the genesis of this melancholy strain in his poems is to be traced

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work