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Thyrsis Summary | Matthew Arnold

Thyrsis Summary | Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold has written Thyrsis, a Victorian poem where he has highlights different kind of losses. So, in this content, we are going to discusses Thyrsis summary. Let’s enjoy the content.

Writer’s Intro

Matthew Arnold, (1822-1888) a major Victorian Poet. He was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools.

Theme of Thyrsis

Thyrsis deals with the theme of loss- in fact various losses including the lost paradise Oxford, the loss of Arnold’s youth, the loss of his and Clough’s innocence, and the loss of meaning and direction in the society and culture of his time.

Thyrsis Summary

The first part of Thyrsis Summary

Like “The Scholar-Gipsy,” “Thyrsis” is set in rural Oxford. The frequent visits he and his companion Thyrsis made here make him unhappy to see how much the place has changed. There was nothing except a valley, a walkway, and other natural wonders for them to take in here before. Disparate pieces of Oxford can now be found all over the place.

He searches for a venerable elm tree they all enjoyed and believed had ties to the Scholar-Gypsy. They always anticipated that the scholar-gypsy would outlive the tree. The narrator laments that he no longer visits the area as frequently as he once did. And he condemns Thyrsis for having left “of his own free choosing.” He left the place, even though it was his favorite, and eventually died distant from it.

Arnold is referring to Virgil, so it stands to reason that his death has to do with the ancient poet. If you want additional details, check out the Analysis. The speaker recognizes that his feelings of loss may shift with the seasons, but he also accepts that Thyrsis will never return.

The second part of the summary of Thyrsis

In the following lines, the narrator describes his trek through the countryside while lamenting his longing for Thyrsis. A girl who had assisted them with their boat comes to mind, and he is saddened to learn that she, too, has vanished. During the course of the lament, he begins to feel helpless in the face of global concerns.

The speaker is cheered in lines 16 and 17 by the sight of a band of jubilant hunters entering town on horseback. The fact that he tracked down the elm tree indicates that the scholar-gypsy is still active in his quest for knowledge.

Now that he’s in a better frame of mind, the speaker makes an effort to mend his broken relationship with Thyrsis. The conclusion he reaches is that Thyrsis did not abandon the quest for truth when he did. Instead, he persisted in his pursuit for the truth, which led him down the path of a nomad.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed it. Anyway, if you want to read other summaries of Victorian Poetry you can follow the contents:

Dover Beach Summary
Oenone Summary

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Apart from English language and literature skill, I’m a Digital Marketer & Content Writer at My Writing Pen, BD Business Finder, NY Bizlisting.

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