Question: Take one stanza from the Scholar Gypsy and carefully explicate its meaning saying how you think the language and form (stanza shape) contribute to the stanza’s power and effect.

The significance of this stanza was to highlight the rumors, which has begun circulating about the whereabouts of the scholar gypsy. It was as if wherever the scholar gypsy was located was such a sacred place and it would take some time to venture to. The location of the scholar gypsy was the countryside. It paints the scene in a sense that something big and miraculous is coming.

Written by Matthew Arnold: Stanza 6

“This said, he left them, and returned no more.-
But rumors hung about the countryside,
That the lost Scholar long was seen to stray,
Seen by rare glimpses, pensive and tongue-tied,
In hat of antique shape, and a cloak of grey,
The same the gypsies wore.
Shepherds had met him on the Hurst in spring;
At some lone alehouse in the Berkshire moors,
On the warm ingle-bench, the smock-frocked boors
Had found him seated their entering,”

In each stanza at the centre of the paragraph the structure changes for one line. The 6th line is the shortest and makes the shape of the stanza change its mold. It forwards a message that we have to think about and put the pieces together for.
The line reads as The same the gypsies wore.” – It is the only line in this stanza which pauses with a full stop, reading the unlikely matter which has been noted before. In this sense, the speaker is comparing or detailing the scholar persona to be alike one of a reaper (grim reaper context) “in hat antique shape, and a cloak of grey,”

I like the fact that you can see how far language has come from back then to now. Words have been grammatically corrected, sentences have been punctuated to allow for pauses, but In saying that the way this certain stanza is written with all it’s short and sharp sentences portrays the pace in which this story goes through. It’s fast and continually beating. The speaker effectively without making it too sudden changes the pronoun to second person pronoun. This is done intentionally to create a sense of intimacy with the scholar gypsy as well as for special effect.


6 thoughts on “#6 The Scholar Gypsy – Matthew Arnold

  1. Hi Annaliese,

    I absolutely loved reading your blog today, I may not know the context you are studying but I believe you have expressed yourself pretty well. I love how you have highlighted the sentence in the stanza that you wanted to focus on, and then reuse it through your analysis in a different colour as well. Your analysis is clear concise and in much details also, I truly agree with in regards to the idea that language had changed from back then to now, language that is hard to understand. But remember us literature students should work hard and analyse every letter, word, sentence and paragraph to get a thorough understanding. Believe in yourself and keep going because you are definitely getting a better understanding seen through this analysis.

    Good luck with your future blogs.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Annaliese,
    I did the same question as you for this week. Unlike mine entry, I enjoyed that you did one of the earlier stanzas rather than when the key ideas and themes of materialism comes through. I agree with what you discuss about grammar and how this time period does use words properly; as nowadays the language as become shorter and less creative. The only negative feature of your post I could see was your opening paragraph. It is just a little repetitive for me but apart from that, this idea is clear and executed wonderfully.

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Riley 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Riley Powers

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