Analysis of "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

Essay by askasHigh School, 10th gradeA, June 2006

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Reading this poem brings out many deep emotion inside of me. Feeling of sadness and loneliness are just some of the few feelings I have. This poem is well written and is backed with many vivid imagery and clear metaphors. Mr. Arnold describes a number of settings and beauty in dover beach. This poem is written in free verse with no particular meter or beats to it. Mr. Arnold uses poetic language to carry out his theme. He is speaking to someone he loves, whom I believe is dead. In the beginning, he starts out calmly and peacefulness, "the sea is calm to-night," but the feeling of calmness quickly turn to bitterness and sadness, "the eternal note of sadness in."

The main theme in this story, however, could not be decided, 2 main themes stands out, love and faith. Numerous hint of the theme faith is the metaphor "the sea of faith."

Mr. Arnold continuously uses the sea with faith as the metaphor for this poem. The sea tide could be viewed as going in and out, much like our faith in god. The sea of faith represents our eternal sadness (Line 14). In the third stanza, where he says, "The Sea of Faith was once, too, at the full and round earth's shore. But now I only hear its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, retreating...etc," I believe this stanza is the most important of all in this poem. It shows the author once believes in faith but his faith has been dwindling and now he turns to love for survival, which he shows us in the last stanza.

What appears to be beauty is actually cold and lonely feeling in this world. The eternal sadness and human misery is continually happening to us, whatever we like it or not. The...