Essay on Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of Dover Beach

1644 words - 7 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed
VIEW DOCUMENT
Preview

Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of "Dover Beach"

In "Dover Beach," Matthew Arnold creates a dramatic monologue of the Victorian Era that shows how perceptions can be misleading. Arnold conveys the theme of "Dover Beach" through three essential developments: the technical qualities of the poem itself, symbolism, and imagery. The theme of illusion versus reality in "Dover Beach" reflects the speaker's awareness of the incompatibility between what is perceived and what truly is real.

The technical qualities of the poem include rhythm and meter, rhyme, figures of speech, sound, and irony of the words. The mechanics alone do not explain why illusion and reality differ, but they do help to explain how Arnold sets up the poem to support the theme.

The most prominent mechanisms include the rhythm and the meter of the lines and the stanzas of the poem. Line 1 is an iambic trimeter: The sea/is calm/to-night. The gentle pulsating rhythm of the iamb mirrors the ebb and flow of the sea. The actual words of the first line manifest this idea to picture a calm sea gently lapping at the beach. The second line, an iambic tetramater, also reveals a calm sea. However, line 3 breaks the pattern and forces the reader to break his or her own rhythm. Line 3 includes: Upon/the straits,//on the French/Coast/the light. The line begins and ends with an iamb, but the middle is broken up with an anapest. The anapest is a foreshadow of the tumult to come. The fourth line breaks up even farther with an anapest at the beginning, but the fifth line recovers the rhythm. Glimmering/and vast//out in/the tran/quil bay.

The rhythm recovers by the end of the first stanza, but the original trimeter has not. The number of feet per line constantly increases from three to four and then to five, once again, a foreshadow of the upcoming struggle. The underlying, yet easily overlooked, lack of a pattern in the rhyme scheme reflects the speaker's inner debate. The rhyme scheme of the first stanza consists of ABACD. The first and third lines rhyme, "to-night" and light," but no other lines rhyme in the first stanza. The same instance occurs in the second stanza's rhyme scheme of BDCEFCGHG. Multiple lines do rhyme, but in no set pattern. This opposes the pattern of the iambic rhyme of the first stanza.

The second stanza attempts to regain a pattern using alternating anapests and iambs such as in line 6: Come to the/window//sweet is the/night air!, but the pattern disappears in line 7 only to reappear in line 8. Where the sea/meets the moon/-blanched sand. The pattern of iambs continues through the stanza, but the number of feet per line never project a pattern. In other words, by the use of a pattern in the rhythm and the lack of a pattern in the number of feet per line and the rhyme scheme, Arnold portrays an outwardly rhythmic and flowing poem with underlying confusion and strife. The illusion of the rhythm masks the reality of the struggle of the...

Find Another Essay On Essay on Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of Dover Beach

Comparison: Dover Beach And Do Essay

1272 words - 5 pages introspection is debased. There is not even a hint of self-reflection in the parody; it is simply a man talking about a woman he knows and turning her into some sort of flighty creature who cares nothing about deep thoughts.Looking back on "Dover Beach," one could ponder if Matthew Arnold was a novice philosopher, simply because that is what philosophers do best: introspect. Each line in "Dover Beach...

Comparison: Dover Beach And Do Essay

1272 words - 5 pages introspection is debased. There is not even a hint of self-reflection in the parody; it is simply a man talking about a woman he knows and turning her into some sort of flighty creature who cares nothing about deep thoughts.Looking back on "Dover Beach," one could ponder if Matthew Arnold was a novice philosopher, simply because that is what philosophers do best: introspect. Each line in "Dover Beach...

A Comparison Of Fahrenheit 451 And Dover Beach

1194 words - 5 pages 451 because both pieces of writing talk about themes of true love, fantasy and allover hopelessness.      One of the ways Fahrenheit 451 can be related to Arnold’s Dover Beach is by connecting the absense of true love in both of them. Throughout the book, Montag slowly realizes that he does not truly love his wife Mildred. In the beginning, Montag believes that he truly loves Mildred. However, as the book goes on, he...

Analysis Of "Dover Beach" By Matthew Arnold

1497 words - 6 pages ". 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...

Arnold's Dover Beach And Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey

1872 words - 7 pages A reflection on Arnold's "Dover Beach" and Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" Poetry that establishes its raison d'être as linguistic play is, for Wordsworth, "a matter of amusement and idle pleasure…as if it were a thing as indifferent as a taste for rope-dancing, or frontiniac or sherry" (Preface 250). Wordsworth condemns poets whose efforts contribute mainly in celebrating formal experimentation; he discriminates against poetry that has recourse...

Analysis Of "Dover Beach" By Matthew Arnold

606 words - 2 pages 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 ...

Analysis Of Dover Beach By Matthew Arnold

581 words - 2 pages "Dover Beach" "Dover Beach" a poem about a sea and a beach that is truly beautiful, but hold much deeper meaning than what meets the eye. The poem is written in free verse with no particular meter or rhyme scheme, although some of the words do rhyme. Arnold is the speaker speaking to someone he loves. As the poem progresses, the reader...

Analysis of Literary Devices in Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and Arnold’s “Dover Beach

632 words - 3 pages William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” are intriguingly different poems that both use symbolism, similes, imagery, and metaphors as ways of expressing emotions and attitudes towards life. Although the two pieces of literature portray vastly different feelings, Wordsworth and Arnold both use nature to elucidate the speaker’s outlook. Interestingly enough, Matthew Arnold was a big fan of William...

The Inevitability Of Human Suffering In “Ode To A Nightingale” And “Dover Beach”

2277 words - 9 pages ). He rejects the “deceiving elf” (74) of seductive “fancy” (73), and leaves his reader bereft, without even the comfort of the “plaintive anthem” (75) as it “fades” (75) and is “buried deep in the next valley-glades” (77-78). Like Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale,” Arnold’s “Dover Beach” is heavy with desolate emotional imagery; but unlike Keats, his descriptions are less personal and more removed. Each stanza in “Dover Beach” contains at least one...

Comparison of Poems Dover Beach and The Buried Life and by Matthew Arnold

933 words - 4 pages Matthew Arnold uses diction and imagery to produce the themes of alienation and self discovery in the poems: "Dover Beach" and "The Buried Life." “Dover Beach” talks about a man's attitude toward life. Arnold uses diction to show his feelings and inner most thoughts. In “Dover Beach” he claims “the sea is calm tonight, the tide is full, the moon lies fair upon the straits.” These lines show a sense of clarification until he claims he has lost...

A Comparison Of Dover Beach By Matthew Arnold And Prayer Before Brith By Louis MacNeice

1299 words - 5 pages A Comparison of Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold and Prayer Before Brith by Louis MacNeice 'Dover Beach' by Matthew Arnold, written in 1867, and 'Prayer Before Birth' written in 1951 by Louis MacNeice share many similarities despite being written nearly on hundred years apart from each other. This essay will explore the issues and ideas that both poems share, in addition to drawing attention to some of the key differences...

Other Essay on Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of Dover Beach Essays

Dover Beach Theme Imagery And Sound

1448 words - 6 pages of the rhythm masks the reality of the struggle of the speaker. The auditory qualities of lines 9-14 set the tone for the rest of the poem. "LISten! yoU HEAR the GRATing ROar / of PEBbles which the WAves DRaw back, anD FLinG, / aT their return, UP the HIgh strand, / BEgin, anD ceASE, anD thEN agAIN beGIN, / with TREMulous CAdenCE SLOw, anD bring / the eterNAL noTe oF SADness IN."Arnold's "Dover Beach" applies technical...

Tidal Influences Essay On Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach"

1073 words - 4 pages sameness of life. The pebbles of the beach are flung like weapons and then the tide withdraws again causing a feeling of sadness.15- Arnold is reminded of a thought put forth by Sophocles: the same senses are awakened to the south, on the Aegean Sea.19- And still, in Arnold's time, and in the Straights of Dover, the same life pattern plays on into infinity.21- The "Sea of Faith" offers at least two concepts: Faith is a euphemism...

Essay On Symbolism, Imagery And Diction In Homer’S Odyssey

899 words - 4 pages Symbolism, Imagery and Diction in Homer’s Odyssey   During the course of history, the world has seen many fine works of literature like Homer’s epic, Odyssey. This book is a standard against which to compare all literary novels. The symbolism permeates the pages drawing the reader into the intriguing plot that includes twists within the central theme. Also, the author intelligently uses imagery and diction painting dramatic images in...

Essay On Language, Imagery, And Symbolism In To Be Of Use

1187 words - 5 pages Use of Language, Imagery, and Symbolism to Develop the Theme of  To Be of Use                            In the minds of most people, the words, "hard work" and "heavy labor" carry a negative connotation.  What these words imply is not something that is generally welcomed with enthusiasm but is often accepted either by force or obligation.  Marge Piercy's poem "To Be of Use" conveys an opposing connotation about the idea of work.  The...