Peaceful Dover beach, which was calm the night when Arnold was there, showed us the difficulty of accomplishing something. By using ideational structure full of metaphors and making each stanza to have its own characteristic, Arnold effectively transferred the theme of the poem. The poetry starts with the description of Dover beach at a moment, which would not last forever, directed us to the sadness or disappointment that he would reveal later in poetry.
The first stanza is very much about descriptions of the place, which are full of contrasts. Arnold, with so much imagery, introduces us to a peaceful, tranquil image of the sea. However, this beautiful image soon creates a tension in the poem through its instantaneousness, the beauty will not last forever, which we can interpret from the words like ¡°tonight¡±, ¡°gleams and is gone¡±. Then the contrasts from opposite concepts come into the play, which adds to the suspense of the poem. The light that is gone ¡°on the French coast¡± and the light on ¡°the cliffs of England coast¡± that is ¡°glimmering and vast¡± starts this kind of contrasts. Then the contrast between ¡°in¡± and ¡°out¡± in line 6 continues it, which is continued by the contrast in ¡°low¡± and ¡°high¡± of ¡°the sea¡± and ¡°the moon-blanch¡¯s land¡±
Then there is a sudden halt. Arnold starts a line with ¡°Listen¡± with an exclamation mark, as if he is suddenly trying to arrest all our attention to the poem. And from here, the poem changes from only something that we see to something that we have to both see and listen. Even here, however, Arnold continues with his contrasts of the opposites. ¡°The grating roar¡± that ¡°begin and cease¡± and ¡°the draw back¡± and ¡°the return¡± of the waves, really strike us to the point where Arnold tells us about ¡°the eternal note of sadness¡±. ¡°The eternal note of the sadness with tremulous cadence slow¡± suddenly rounds up everything that is in the first strophe, it¡¯s like a sudden answer to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document