"Dover Beach"

Essay by hanyserryHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2005

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In the poem "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold there is a lot of irony, appeal to the auditory and visual sense, and illusions. The tone in this poem is very sad and dismal, but he shows us how to keep faith and hope in spite of that and how important being honest, true, and faithful to one another, really is. Throughout this poem , Arnold mentions all of these traits and ties them all together.

The irony in this poem is the main plot of the poem. A man has taken a woman to a beautiful beach in France. There they look over the cliffs at the beautiful ocean, the moon is full and bright, and the night-air is calm and peaceful. She thinks that she is going to this romantic place to be wooed by this man. Instead he turns to her and talks to her about Sophocles.

She, not understanding what exactly is going on, later realizes that he was getting to the point of having each other and always being there for one another.

The poet uses visual and auditory images to mainly help the romantic, fantasy-like place. "The sea is calm, the tide is full" and "Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling," is an example of images that appeal to the visual sense. While " Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land" and "With tremulous cadence slow, and bring..." uses an auditory sense. "Come to the window, sweet is the night air," can apply to both senses. Sweet can mean angelic or precious to qualify to be an visual image, or it can mean almost like a melodious tune.

Illusions are used in this poem as deception for the girl that the man is trying to hold a non-romantic conversation with.