Dover Beach Term Paper

This essay has a total of 626 words and 6 pages.

Dover Beach


How can life or anything be so wonderful, but at times seem

so unbearable? This is a question that Matthew Arnold may

have asked himself one day, while writing "Dover Beach".

This is a poem about a sea and a beach that is truly beautiful,

but hold much deeper meaning than what meets the eye. The

poem is written in free verse with no particular meter or

rhyme scheme, although some of the words do rhyme.

Arnold is the speaker speaking to someone he loves. As the

poem progresses, the reader sees why Arnold poses the

question stated above, and why life seems to be the way it

is. During the first part of the poem Arnold states, "The Sea

is calm tonight" and in line 7, "Only, from the long line of

spray". In this way, Arnold is setting the mood or scene so

the reader can understand the point he is trying to portray. In

lines 1-6 he is talking about a very peaceful night on the ever

so calm sea, with the moonlight shining so intensely on the

land. Then he states how the moonlight "gleams and is gone"

because the "cliffs of England" are standing at their highest

peaks, which are blocking the light of the moon. Next, the

waves come roaring into the picture, as they "draw back and

fling the pebbles" onto the shore and back out to sea again.

Arnold also mentions that the shore brings "the eternal note

of sadness in", maybe representing the cycles of life and

repetition. Arnold then starts describing the history of

Sophocle's idea of the "Aegean's turbid ebb and flow". The

sea is starting to become rougher and all agitated. Also the

mention of "human misery" implies that life begins and ends,

but it can still be full of happiness, and unfortunately, at the

same time, sadness. "The Sea of Faith was once, too, at the

full, and round earth's shore." The key word in that stanza is

once, because it implies that he (Arnold) used to look at the

sea in a different way than he does now. Throughout the

Continues for 3 more pages >>




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