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Analysis[ edit ] In Stefan Collini 's opinion, "Dover Beach" is a difficult poem to analyze, and some of its passages and metaphors have become so well known that they are hard to see with "fresh eyes". The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; —on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land, Listen!
Arnold looks at two aspects of this scene, its soundscape in the first and second stanzas and the retreating action of the tide in the third stanza. He hears the sound of the sea as "the eternal note of sadness". Sophoclesa 5th-century BC Greek playwright who wrote tragedies on fate and the Essays dover beach matthew of the gods, also heard this sound as he stood upon the shore of the Aegean Sea.
One sees a difference between Sophocles interpreting the "note of sadness" humanistically, while Arnold, in the industrial nineteenth century, hears in this sound the retreat of religion and faith. This fourth stanza begins with an image not of sadness, but of "joyous fulness" similar in beauty to the image with which the poem opens.
But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear  And naked shingles of the world.
The final stanza begins with an appeal to love, then moves on to the famous ending metaphor. Critics have varied in their interpretation of the first two lines; one calls them a "perfunctory gesture He describes an ancient battle that occurred on a similar beach during the Athenian invasion of Sicily.
The battle took place at night; the attacking army became disoriented while fighting in the darkness and many of their soldiers inadvertently killed each other. Culler calls the "darkling plain" Arnold's "central statement" of the human condition.
Exploring the dark terror that lies beneath his happiness in love, the speaker resolves to love—and exigencies of history and the nexus between lovers are the poem's real issues. Devoid of love and light the world is a maze of confusion left by 'retreating' faith.
One critic saw the "darkling plain" with which the poem ends as comparable to the "naked shingles of the world". Another found the poem "emotionally convincing" even if its logic may be questionable.
Beginning in the present it shifts to the classical age of Greece, then with its concerns for the sea of faith it turns to Medieval Europe, before finally returning to the present.
Critics have noted the careful diction in the opening description,  the overall, spell-binding rhythm and cadence of the poem  and its dramatic character. And naked shingles of the world.
Arnold's visits to Dover may also provide some clue to the date of composition. Allott has Arnold in Dover in June and again in October of that year "on his return from his delayed continental honeymoon". To critics who conclude that ll. Though the great song return no more There's keen delight in what we have: The rattle of pebbles on the shore Under the receding wave.
After which she says "one or two unprintable things". But you mustn't judge her by that.
What I mean to say is, She's really all right. I still see her once in a while And she always treats me right. In Dodie Smith 's novel, I Capture the Castlethe book's protagonist remarks that Debussy 's Clair de Lune reminds her of "Dover Beach" in the film adaptation of the novel, the character quotes or, rather, misquotes a line from the poem.
In Fahrenheitauthor Ray Bradbury has his protagonist Guy Montag read part of "Dover Beach" to his wife Mildred and her friends after attempts at intellectual conversation fail and Montag discovers just how shallow and uncaring they are about their families and the world around them.
One of Mildred's friends cries over the poem while the other chastises Montag for exposing them to something she deems obscene and the two break off their friendship with Mildred in disgust as they leave the house. Joseph Heller 's novel Catch alludes to the poem in the chapter "Havermyer": Fair's "The Dying Self", he speaks of "the coming of this unhappy epoch, in which men are a danger to themselves roughly in proportion to their own triviality, announced in the Victorian Age" and exemplified by "the only first-rate poem Arnold ever wrote:Essay on Dover Beach Before we can discuss Matthew Arnold’s "Dover Beach", a brief biography of Arnold will help our understanding of the poem.
Matthew Arnold had intentions of marrying Fancy Lucy Wightman, despite the fact that her father disapproved. Dec 08, · The critical analysis of the poem entitled “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold.
When I first read the poem I got the feeling of gloom, uncertainty and reflective, towards the end of the poem I got a sense of deep melancholy.
Dover Beach Matthew Arnold [Victorian Web Home —> Authors —> Matthew Arnold —> Works] [commentary on the poem] The sea is calm to-night. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs .
Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” published in , is about how the world is losing faith in God, and how love, comfort, and loyalty are the only things that can fill the void that faith once filled. This essay is about the poem Dover Beach!
"Dover Beach" by: Matthew Arnold In the poem "Dover Beach" by: Matthew Arnold there is a lot of irony, appeal to the auditory and visual sense, and illusions. Published: Mon, 5 Dec Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” can often deceive readers into thinking that the speaker is actually calm and content.
However, if we dissect and examine the poem carefully, we notice that the Arnold worries about life and its meaning.