NAME: Upasana Chakraborty
Mathew Arnold, often considered one of the most prolific writers of the late Victorian period, established his reputation as a poet of elegiac verse and his poems such as ‘Scholar Gipsy’ and ‘Dover Beach’ are considered classics for their subtitle, restrained style and compelling expression of spiritual malaise. Arnold’s poetry can essentially be viewed as a spiritual dilemma which was indeed innately Victorian, experienced by people who in the words of Arnold’s “Scholar Gipsy” were caught between “two worlds”, “one dead/ the other powerless to be born”. The “dead” world is widely interpreted as a metaphoric evocation of the early Romantic Movement, during which Western culture was reinvigorated by newly developed humanist and democratic ideals, while the “unborn” world is considered to be a not-yet realized society in which the scientific materialism of industrialized nations would be tempered by a highly developed state of cultural enlightenment. In his poem “Dover Beach” the sea is transformed into the metamorphic” Sea of Faith”. The sea is used as a symbol of faith for a time when religion could still be experienced without the doubts created by the science of though-s created by Darwin. As the poem goes on Arnold tells us that the Sea of Faith and certainty of religion has withdrawn itself away from the shore human grasp; leaving people in a world of darkness. In this world of darkness the importance of love and faithfulness to the lover holds great importance. During times of disarray, Arnold pleads, when science has taken away faith, lovers must stay close and true to be sure they do not end up battling in darkness. The last line of the poem relates to the idea of providing the allusion of ignorant armies clashing by night. In the poem, Arnold also mentions how the tide or the Sea Of Faith has died down. The sea has withdrawn...
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