Intro to Literature Mathew Arnold’s Dover Beach

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The Victorian poets were very uncomfortable when more and more people shifted their attention towards scientific development, the belief that science can supersede God and his powers deeply affected the Victorian poets. Arnold conspicuously employs pathetic fallacy throughout Dover Beach the inanimate object has been presented in the form of sea in the poem. Sadness is a feeling which every human being experiences and sadness is being projected by Arnold in the poem, sadness is being attributed onto the sea by the poet in the poem. The poet also succeeds in creating a feeling of pathos in the poem, the readers begin to sympathize with the poet and this is how the feeling of pathos is created. The sea is calm tonight, The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits. on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone. (Dover Beach) The word is is repeated thrice in these lines and this goes to show that the poet is emphasizing on the nightly seaside scenery. Several changes take place in the poem, the poet concludes by saying that there was light earlier but there is no light now which means darkness has descended and according to the poet it is all doom and gloom. Gleams and is gone The last is used clearly goes to show that the poet is trying to say that the light that was there earlier is there no more and there is nothing but darkness. Certainty also has gone with the light but this can only be understood if the poem is evaluated metaphorically. In darkness it becomes very difficult to determine one’s position and it becomes even more difficult to determine where others may be positioned. Neither joy, nor love, nor light/ Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain. (Dover Beach) It is quite conspicuous that words like neither and nor have been repeated and usually when words get repeated in a poem it signifies emphasis and this case is no different. Neither and nor have been repeated in order to signify denial by the poet. The blank and the nihilistic view of Matthew Arnold has been presented here, he is talking about the basic human values here and believes that the basic human values have disappeared and nothing remains now and this is how the readers get to know of his nihilistic views. The poem’s language has been enriched by the poet. several adjectives have been used by Arnold. Tremulous cadence, eternal note of sadness clearly signify melancholy and these adjectives have been used to increase the melancholic feeling in the poem. The readers must look for metaphors and images to understand the hidden meaning of the poem. the sea is both a symbol and a metaphor in the poem. Several transitions take place from the first stanza to the very last, initially the sea looks very beautiful under moonlight but it becomes hostile as the poem progresses. As the poem progresses the sea starts to evoke a feeling of sadness. In the third stanza it becomes Sea of Faith which has a hidden meaning as most stanzas of the poem. The certainty a religion brings with itself has been withdrawn and as usual human beings are left with nothing but darkness according to the poet. Tennyson’s In Memoriam is quite similar to Arnold’s Dover Beach. Both the poets are aghast in the poems. they pity human beings in their poems. The opening of In Memoriam is quite different from Dover Beach, Tennyson talks about faith in the opening stanza of the poem. he believed that faith is the only