The Role of Love in the Age of Religious Doubt and Political, Spiritual and Social Unrest as Presented in Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’.

Topics: Poetry, Stanza, Victorian era Pages: 3 (1205 words) Published: November 2, 2011
The role of love in the age of religious doubt and political, spiritual and social unrest as presented in Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’. The Victorian Era was, without a doubt, an extraordinarily complex age. It was a time of tremendous scientific progress, invention and exploration. It was a period of economic and social changes, industrial revolution, discussion and argument about the nature and role of woman, known also as "The Woman Question”. What is more, it was the age of transition and an era of the crisis of faith. It was the time of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species publication (1859). His revolutionary theory of evolution undermined the foundations of religion. The Bible was becoming questioned. Many people began to doubt what was written in the book of Genesis. It ceased to be treated as a reliable source of information on how the universe was created. God seemed to be powerless against the rising age of the machine. In his poem “Dover Beach” Matthew Arnold laments on the world’s loss of religious faith but at the same time he appoints/ designates love as the solution to the problem of isolation and separation between man and God. “Dover Beach”, published in 1867, is a dramatic monologue in which the poetic persona, the voice of Arnold’s contemporaries, presents the fear of being alone in the age of dwindling faith and fading religion. This is shown through various literary techniques. The poem consists of five uneven stanzas. It is written in free verse without any particular rhyme scheme or meter. The author uses imagery to set the mood and the setting. The views of the poetic persona are expressed metaphorically with the use of pathetic fallacy that is by attributing human emotions or characteristics to nature. All these elements composed together in one poem give the reader the possibility to experience the lyrical eye’s feeling of being lost and solitude. They also evoke the feelings of sympathy for the suffering lyrical self , who...
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