"Dover Beach" by Mattew Arnold: Discuss the idea of the poem and how such complex ideas are presented through the poet's versification.

Essay by rmeodprps2High School, 10th gradeA-, October 2005

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"Dover Beach" is one of the most famous poems written by Mattew Arnold in the 19th Century. Dover Beach is about loss of religion; which affects the world to fill with misery. Arnold looks over the beautiful sea and compares the melancholy-filled world, with the sea. The poem clearly evokes the idea that Arnold was a pessimist and his perception of the world was very pejorative. Arnold describes the world as "a darkling plain" due to the fading of religion. The poem delivers a strong, long-lasting "fact" that you see the world according to your mental processes.

Although the main idea of the poem is the fading of religion, Mattew Arnold initiates his poem in a fairly positive and optimistic manner. In the first stanza, Arnold portrays a serene imagery of the sea and sets a tranquil atmosphere. He begins by talking about how the sea lies motionless, and the moon shining vividly upon the land.

It is stated that the moonlight "gleams and is gone" because the elevated "cliffs of England" protrude and block the light. As the poem progress, in line 9, Arnold becomes a little pessimistic and starts to use harsh words. The quote "Listen! You hear the grating roar", consists of many negative words and techniques. The word "grating" sets a clear imagery of the pebbles in the sea; and at the same time give the negative feel. Roar is a compelling pejorative noun, which immediately enables the reader to think of the fierce lion. By the end of the stanza, Arnold becomes a lot more degrading and states; - "Begin, and cease... with tremulous cadence slow.... The eternal note of sadness." Here, Arnold is explaining about the waves that "draw back, and fling." And that he can hear "the eternal note of sadness" from the...