Poem Analysis: Dover Beach

1040 Words 5 Pages
Allie Miller
Mrs. Shirley Jefferds
English 102-6
14 March 2018
Dover Beach- Rough Draft In the famous poem, “Dover Beach”, the author, Matthew Arnold, deceives readers into thinking that the speaker is actually calm and at peace. However, if we examine the poem attentively, we notice that Arnold worries about life and its meaning. The mood of the poem changes from one of serenity to one of sadness. Arnold creates the mood by utilizing different types of descriptive adjectives, imagery, similes, and metaphors. Using these literary elements, he portrays a man standing in front of a window meditating about the sound of the pebbles tossing on the shore as the tide goes out. Throughout the poem, the author seems to be fearful of what the world
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Its message - like that of many of his other poems - is that the world's mystery has declined in the face of modernism. However, that decline is here painted as particularly dark and uncertain. What also makes the poem influential is that his romantic streak has almost no tint of religion. Instead, he speaks of the "Sea of Faith" without linking it to any kind of heaven or high power. This "faith" seems to have guided decisions and smoothed over the world's problems, tying everyone together in a meaningful way. It is no coincidence that the sight inspiring such reflection is that of untouched nature, almost entirely absent from any human involvement. In fact, the speaker's true reflection begins once the only sign of life, the light over in France, disappears. What Arnold is expressing is a natural drive towards beauty. He explores this contradiction through what is possibly the poem's most famous stanza, that which compares his experience to that of Sophocles. The comparison could be lacking originality, if the point were merely that someone long before had appreciated the same type of beauty that he does. However, it is saddening because it reveals a darker potential in the world's natural beauty. What natural beauty reminds us of is human misery. We are aware of the beauty in nature, but can never quite go beyond the limits of our …show more content…
Arnold worries that the chaos of the modern world will be too great, and that she will be shocked to discover that even in the presence of great beauty like that outside their window, mankind is gearing up for destruction. He hopes that they might use this moment that they're in to keep them together despite the uncertainty that this world

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