What is love? This is a question that is often discussed and argued about. Everyone seems to have a different perception on what love truly is. These perceptions help categorize what type of person you are when it comes towards love. This can range from being a hopeless romantic to a person who doesn’t even believe that love exists. A perfect example of how the views of love can be drastically different can be illustrated by these two poems; “Dover Beach” and “Dover Bitch”. “Dover Beach”, was written by Matthew Arnold in the 19th century. The love Arnold speaks of in his poem is a deep love that is indestructible. “Dover Bitch” was written by Anthony Hecht, in response to “Dover Beach” and refers to love as being a joke and nonexistent. Arnold can be portrayed as being a hopeless romantic while Hecht is skeptical and a cynic when it comes to love. There are many factors which influence the authors’ literary works including: the time period, the object of love in their poem and their overall view of the world. These components as well as the tones of the of the poems help convey the author’s view point on love and its place in society.
Matthew Arnold’s legendary poem “Dover Beach” encapsulated the era that the poem was written in. He wrote this poem during the 19th century while he was honeymooning with his wife. Rumor has it that the newlyweds were honeymooning at Dover Beach but no one can be certain. In order to get a better grasp on what the text of the poem is referring to we must know what’s going on during the time period. When “Dover Beach” was written there was large transformation in how people thought and what knowledge was deemed acceptable. English society was changing from a primarily religious based society with high religious morals and standings into one that praised and honored the work of science. It was the dawn of the scientific and industrial revolution. With any major change there seems to always be benefits and side