Analysis of "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

Essay by salokHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2006

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 53 times

"Dover beach" is a beautiful poem written by a famous poet, Matthew Arnold; from the romantic era. The poem is melancholic and pessimistic in nature and shows human misery through the ages. The diction changes as the poem progresses, from the beginning till the end, soft and loving to hard and rough, respectively. The images are centered around the ocean, this is to show the analogy that life can be both turbulent as well as placid. The time that the poem occurs is through the night, having mystery and possibly some romance. The poet intricately weaves nature and man together in his poem. The first stanza describes the sea, whereas the second stanza talks about historical philosophers, the penultimate stanza is once again linked with the sea and finally the last stanza is about mankind once again.

This poem has four stanzas, each containing 14,6,8,9 lines respectively. This poem is comprised of free verse, though there is an iambic stress on each line.

The first stanza has a rhyme scheme of "abacdbdcefcffg", the second stanza has a rhyme scheme of "abacbc". In the third stanza only half of the lines rhyme, the other four do not, the rhyme scheme is "abcdbedf". The last stanza's lines have iambic pentameter and a rhyme scheme of 'abbacddcc". The reason for a fluctuation in the rhyme scheme is to portray the unpredictability of life, which is similar to the sea; that has a mind of its own.

Dover beach is a large beach on coastal England opposite from France, where there are great white cliffs that give it its name "Dover", after the white doves. This is a romantic place, and therefore the poet chose it to be the title of the poem. The title is a slight misnomer, as the poem does...