How “Lycidas” is a Pastoral Elegy?


Is Milton’s Lycidas a pastoral elegy? How?


Yes, this is a famous pastoral elegy, which Milton wrote in response to his friend, Edward King’s death, who drowned during a voyage in 1637. Read the following passage,

“For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,

Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.

Who would not sing for Lycidas? ”

Here, Milton laments on the loss of his friend.

He also portrays village life with excellent natural images, “Symbols of poetic fame; as their berries are not yet ripe.” In pastoral life, he presents his friend as a shepherd living in idyllic setting and natural elements lament on his death.

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