Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold -Explanation

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11 Responses

  1. Siddhant singh says:

    When will art of decay of lying full notes be published? Do it soon…i have got my exam the next day

  2. Satya Prakash says:

    Give me a day or two.

  3. Gazal says:

    Describe the theme as a conflict between traditional faith and science, lossof religious belief and importance of love and loyalty.

    I would be greatly obliged if you frame this answer.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Specify the word limit.

      • Gazal says:

        The word limit would be 350-400 words.

        • Satya Prakash says:

          O.K.Give me 4/5 days. I will come to this after I finish the pending requests for writing.

        • Satya Prakash says:

          Describe the theme as a conflict between traditional faith and science, loss of religious belief and importance of love and loyalty.
          Answer… Mathew Arnold was on his honeymoon. He was young, optimistic about blissful future with his young wife. The Dover beach at dusk with moon overhead is just the right place for romantic passions for a loving couple, but Arnold was a very emotional man. Most sea beaches produce sounds caused by incessant churning of water. Dover beach as no exception, but the bed of pebbles on which the water impinged, made the sound louder and somewhat frightening.
          For a person with a scientific bent of mind, the deafening roar can be easily attributed to the gushing waves and the pebbles that accentuated the decibel level. Arnold was a thoughtful, philosophical, and introspective person. Britain was not in good shape then, with socio-economic conditions constantly worsening. Arnold was, no doubt, fearful of the future. He likened the roar of the tidal waves to the gloom and sorrow that had gripped his motherland then. The ebb somewhat calmed the tidal roar. Arnold reasoned that the intermittent happiness the people experience is the ebb phase when the sound subsides. Drawing such analogy is normal for most humans. We, all, are influenced by traditional faiths and practices. Only the degree differs. For the modern rationalist, the roar is just a natural phenomenon, explainable by Science. For the poet, not drawing a comparison between the high and low roars and the high and low of life was impossible.
          Sophocles, the famous Greek playwright, had felt the same way as Arnold was thinking now. He also was negatively affected by the surging waves’ sound. Arnold’s allusion to The Sea of Faith is another pointer to the misgivings he felt about life in the contemporary society. He felt that conjugal happiness, and rectitude in married life could work as buffers against the overwhelming odds that world was bringing in. It is a vain hope, though there is some truth in it. Was Arnold too timid to face the world? It would be uncharitable to say so. But, to say that the world is not suffering the consequences of the evil deeds and vices committed by human beings will be erroneous.
          In conclusion, it can be said that Arnold was perhaps overtaken by undue fear and confusion to think so morbidly about his married life and future, but love and loyalty do help married couples to swim the river of the worldly sorrows with lesser pain.

  4. Sanskar says:

    Discuss Dover Beach as an elegy? ( 300 words)

    • Satya Prakash says:

      The Dover Beach — an elegy

      A contemplative, inward-looking mind is a fecund canvas for the sight and sound of the surroundings to leave their marks on. Mathew Arnold was young, very sensitive, and deeply philosophical. He had just been married and was on a honeymoon. From his seaside cottage’s window, he scanned the English Channel when the darkness had fallen all over the place. The moon shone gaily in the night sky. The setting was perfect for a young couple to indulge in sensual love.

      Why, then, did Mathew Arnold slip into a subdued, desultory, and tepid mood? Well, the answer may lie in the thoughtfulness of his mind. Arnold was a serious, thinking, and reflective poet. Around the middle of the nineteenth century, when this poem was written, England was not a roaring colonial power. She was beset with many uncertainties. This, perhaps, was at the back of his mind. He loved his young wife deeply, and couldn’t bring himself to think that their marital bliss could ever be destroyed. The roar of the sea water, the pebbles that lay strewn over the beach, the darkness in the Calais side of the sea — all combined to give rise to a sense of gloom and a degree of ominous funk in his mind.

      The poet summons his wife to his side, and asks her to gaze at the sea. He is affected by the ebb and tide of the sea waters, the sight of the black, tall cliffs in the background. The thoughts of the Greek philosopher Sophocles meandering in the Aegean Sea come to his mind. He begins to fear that their happiness, in the tide then, could ebb soon.

      The mood of desperation in his mind takes him to the Sea of Faith that once sustained the world. It had since dried up. The lifeline of God had snapped.

      The Dover Beach is undoubtedly an immensely enjoyable elegy, despite its mournful undertones. It rekindles philosophical thoughts in the reader’s mind leaving him both enchanted and entrapped in a state of lament and despair. Like the flickering lights of the Calais French port, the romantic feelings of the young couple get drowned in the pervasive night darkness, and the deafening roar of the sea. Notwithstanding its gloomy mood, the poem lights a lamp of haunting contemplation in our minds.

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