Second, he uses sound (aural) imagery.

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Third, he uses rhythm and metric.

Arnold conveys the theme of

These mechanics alone do not explain why

Ah, love, let us be true

To one another! for the world, which seems

To he before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Allott, Kenneth, ed. Matthew Arnold. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1975.

The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.

But now I only hear

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,

Retreating, to the breath

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear

And naked shingles of the world.

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Dover Beach: Matthew Arnold - Summary and Critical Analysis

This anthology brings together major Arnold scholars and provides an accessible overview of Arnold’s work. It contains a chronology and particularly useful chapters that deal with poetry, criticism, social and political thought, religion and the classics. A good starting point for students.

Support your ideas with details from the poems

In recent decades scholars from different disciplines, such as literature, history, and cultural studies, have been attracted by different aspects of Arnold’s thought; this interest is reflected in several concise and reliable overviews of his work. Good starting points are and the more recent , both of which provide historicist readings that take in a broad range of texts within Arnold’s oeuvre and present him as both literary author and thinker, although the emphasis is on the latter in both cases. is an accessible survey of the writings, with more emphasis on their literary value. Going back in time, is an authoritative, classic overview that pays close attention to Arnold’s literary achievement. has a more specialized focus on aesthetic consciousness and presents Arnold as representative of his age. Of the several collections of secondary criticism on Arnold, is a particularly good starting point, as it contains essays by well-known Arnold scholars who introduce specific areas of his thought and work. does a similar job, but it brings together selected essays from the early reception until the 1970s. (now ) was a journal entirely devoted to Arnold and his circle, which is especially useful for reviews and bibliographical information.

Famous Poets and Poems - Read and Enjoy Poetry

Matthew Arnold (b. 1822–d. 1888) is one of the most influential writers of the Victorian age. After receiving a Classics degree from Oxford and spending a brief spell in Paris, Arnold spent most of his life working as a schools inspector. He was elected to the Oxford Professorship of Poetry in 1857. Arnold was an author of both poetry and criticism. His verse includes: (1847), (1852), and (1867), as well as the classical verse tragedy (1858). Together with Tennyson and Browning, Arnold has been held by critics as one of the representative poets of his age because of his poetry’s difficult negotiations of the legacy of Romanticism and its clear expression of the Victorian zeitgeist, evident, for instance, in the analysis of religious doubt contained in one of his most famous poems, “Dover Beach.” His prolific prose canon includes cornerstones of 19th-century intellectual and critical history such as (1861), (1865) and (1869). The influence of Arnold’s literary, social, and religious criticism has been immense. His work appears so representative of the Victorian age because of its constant effort to understand and scrutinize modernity. Like many other Victorian authors, however, Arnold suffered a period of neglect and hostility in the early 20th century; but his works are now once again recognized as classics and attract a great deal of critical attention both from literary scholars and cultural historians.

Bush, Douglas. Matthew Arnold: A Survey of His Poetry and Prose. New York: Collier, 1971.

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Collects essays by noted Arnold scholars, some of which focus on broad aspects of his work (elegy, religious poetry, etc.), others on individual writings. It contains a reprint of T. S. Eliot’s essay on Arnold and Pater.

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The Essay About Dover Beach Trap

Madden, William. Matthew Arnold: A Study of the Aesthetic Temperament in Victorian England. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967.

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Dover Beach Main Ideas – English Language and Literature

This journal started as the Arnold Newsletter, then became The Arnoldian from 1975 to 1990, and later became Nineteenth-Century Prose. The Arnoldian was entirely devoted to Arnold’s works, publishing brief articles, reviews, and bibliographic information. Even in its broader new incarnation, though, the journal still publishes many essays of interest to Arnold scholars.