Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach

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Matthew Arnold 's poem “Dover Beach” expresses many different thoughts on life and relates such thoughts to the ocean. This poem describes an ocean while trying to get its reader to look beneath the surface of the poem and extract the information that it is talking about something of greater importance to the speaker. These feelings are not directly stated in the poem, it is only through the use of literary devices that such a reference becomes evident.The idea that life can suddenly be filled with agony in the poem “Dover Beach” is illustrated by the use of diction, tone and type of poetry.
A lyrical poem is all about the thoughts and feelings of the speaker. The speaker of “Dover Beach” is, therefore, expressing his interpretations on how
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As an illustration, the use of concrete diction allows the reader to see beyond the surface of the text, and imagine what is going on through their senses. Towards the beginning of the poem, line 4 and 5 states, “the cliffs of England stand/ Glimmering and vast” (Arnold 4 and 5), but further into the poem it is said that, “And naked shingles of the world” (Arnold 28) This enables the reader to see how the speaker believes his life to be strong and sturdy, that nothing could break it down, much like how the cliffs are strong and tall, but also how even when it seems that nothing could break it down the is still crumbling underneath. The way that the words are selected work to show that how even the strongest things have issues. The large stone cliffs are supposed to represent the speaker, and the shingles on the beach show that even if he may be strong and look happy on the outside, underneath the surface, there can be issues with problems and other types of despair. Similarly, before the shift in tone, the speaker says, “Listen! You hear the grating roar” (Arnold 9). The sense of hearing is now added to the mix. The reader can now understand more about how the speaker feels about himself.Seeing that the speaker believes the ocean to be annoying is in reference to how the speaker feels that he himself is annoying. The word grating means irritating or annoying, which is why the author chose to put this word here, had the author chosen another word it would have had a cost on the meaning of the poem. The use of diction has not only let the reader understand what is going on beneath the surface, but also begins to allow the ability to paint a picture in one 's mind and how the speaker is in agony even if he appears as happy as he did in the beginning of the poem. In addition, the diction chosen for this poem allows the
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