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Dover Beach

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Impression of Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold
James Ferguson
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Prof. Concetta Williams
April 22, 2013

INTRODUCTION Dover Beach is a lyrical poem, and although it refers to a calm sea awakening to crash upon the rocks upon the rocks on the shore, it is actually referring to the insanity of men and the ever changing state of the world. Throughout this paper I will be explaining how this poem made an impact on me. This poem uses many of the tools of the poet. Although this poem conveys it’s message through the use of rhyme and cadence’ the use of onomatopoeia to stress the sound of the waves the sound of the waves continuously growing and becoming more threatening was excellent, especially considering the use of the word “roar” twice; to illustrate how the ocean is an unstoppable and overpowering force. This also helps the listener understand how the speaker feels as he gazes across the darkness of the swelling ocean.( Clugston, 2010). Upon completing the poem the reader is allowed insight into the true sadness that Arnold is referring to. The sadness he feels in this poem isn’t referring to the sadness of a broken heart or some other type of personal hardship, but to the pain and suffering that people can cause to themselves and the world they live in through frivolous wars. In reality the dominating sound of the ocean against the rocks, are the French and English armies on the battlefield as the listener and the reader escape the chaos of war. I found this use of metaphor to be a brilliant end to such a beautifully written poem. Within this poem there lies quite a large amount of irony. This work is thought to be written at about the same time Arnold and his new wife were returning from their honeymoon on the Dover coast as the fighting broke out (Allot, 1965). This trip was meant to be one of happiness and love only to have it interrupted by “confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.” (Arnold, 1965).
CONCLUSION
The reading of Dover Beach may not have been one I would have chosen to read had I not had this assignment. That being said, since my first reading I have already reread it multiple times. It has made a true impression upon me. Through Arnolds’s use of rhyme and cadence the poem moves extremely smoothly, however, the true beauty of this poem lies within the use of onomatopoeia and irony is what truly demonstrates that this poem is certainly the work of a master poet. These tools allow the reader to connect with the emotions of the poet and listener alike. I can safely say that this poem although new to me, will stick with me for the rest of my life.

REFERENCES
Allott, K. (1965). The poems of Matthew Arnold. London and New York: Longman Norton.
Arnold, M. (1965). The poems of Matthew Arnold. London and New York: Longman Norton.
Clugston, W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

References: Allott, K. (1965). The poems of Matthew Arnold. London and New York: Longman Norton. Arnold, M. (1965). The poems of Matthew Arnold. London and New York: Longman Norton. Clugston, W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

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