Analysis Of Matthew Arnold 's Poetry Essay

Analysis Of Matthew Arnold 's Poetry Essay

Length: 1216 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A prominent humanist, critic, and poet of the 18th century, Matthew Arnold was a despiser of philistinism; he was a lover and sustainer of art, intellect, spirituality, and certainly the combination thereof in poetry. Matthew Arnold began his essay, “The Study of Poetry,” writing that “The future of poetry is immense,” and that “more and more of mankind” would discover poetry as a consoler, a sustainer of humanity, and an interpreter of life. He called his audience to “conceive of it as capable of higher uses, and called to higher destinies.” Arnold, believing poetry to be of such high value, was also very dedicated to upholding a high standard in the world of poetry. His dedication is shown clearly through his writings as a critic, but Arnold was also a poet himself. His collection is not very well known, and not very vast in number or range. However, in much of the poetry that Matthew Arnold did write, he perpetuated his views regarding the ‘high destinies’ of poetry through his use of sound devices, manifestation in ideas, and his construction of themes, establishing his works as a superior and honest Criticism of Life.

Sound
In Matthew Arnold’s developed criteria for the evaluation of poetry, he stresses the importance that a poem is “excellent rather than inferior, sound rather than unsound or half-sound, true rather than untrue or half true.” Nothing could be vaguer than his use of the words “excellent” and “inferior,” and nothing more obscure in meaning than the words “sound,” “unsound,” and “true.” However, the close relation in which he uses them suggests that they are interrelated. This connection can be easily made between excellence and sound in the world of poetry: the use of sound devices and overall rhythm of a ...


... middle of paper ...


... of control over a poem once it is implemented because it limits word choice to that of certain sounds. In “Dover Beach,” Arnold maintains the usage of similar sounds and the repetition of rhymes, giving the poem a euphonic nature, but does not confine them to any set pattern throughout the poem. This structure aids in the poem in that the poem itself is a call to be unconventional, as the conventional world is failing. The choice of Arnold here to not set a regular pattern, though he is fully capable, emphasizes his dedication to presenting unwaxed truth by construction meaning through sound.
Arnold’s use of sound devices are certainly excellent in the basic terms of creating a melodious and engaging network of sounds within his poems. Furthermore, his dedication to meaningful construction through these devices shows how sound can bring a kind of truth to poetry.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Conflicting Imagery in Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach

- Conflicting Imagery in Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach           In the poem Dover Beach, the poet uses conflicting imagery to give meaning to the poem. The differences in the way that the poet sees the relationship between the beach and the sea and the way that most people would see it become more pronounced as the poem develops. He also uses the change in attitude from the first stanza to the last to emphasize his message.           The poem starts with  the normal image one would expect of a beach and a peaceful moonlit night, but quickly moves to an entirely different point of view....   [tags: Arnold Dover Beach Essays Poem Poetry Analysis]

Better Essays
521 words (1.5 pages)

Essay Analysis Of `` Dover Beach `` By Matthew Arnold

- Chaos Comes Together In the poem, “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold, the speaker begins the poem enjoying the sight of the ocean from the cliffs at Dover Beach. While admiring the view the speaker analyzes humanity and the world. Through this analysis we see a crisis of faith happen as the speaker realizes that within life there is no certainty or guarantee of happiness as chaos reigns supreme. Throughout the entirety of the poem, “Dover Beach” alliteration is used extensively. In the first stanza, the speaker says, “Gleams and is gone;” (4)....   [tags: Poetry, Rhyme, Stanza, Iambic pentameter]

Better Essays
1122 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis Of Dover Beach By Matthew Arnold Essay

- Rolling With the Deep: Religion’s Shift in Dover Beach Towering whitecaps hurl pebbles onto a moonlit beach like children splashing each other, as tall pale cliffs stand behind them watching; their white faces glitter with parental pride. Over and over, the shallow water is filled with the flying stones. From watching the tides, humans have thought that the Ocean is a living force due to its sudden tendency to wreak havoc with seemingly random storms. People that live today know better, and have come to appreciate the Ocean for all the benefit it provides....   [tags: Religion, Faith, Poetry, Charles Darwin]

Better Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)

Analysis Of Matthew Arnold 's Poem ' Dover Beach ' Essay

- As humans, we all have one thing we are very passionate about. In difficult time, one can all resort back to this specific passion and it helps give a sense of relief. But what if suddenly that one key passion in life was being taken away little by little. Poet, Matthew Arnold captured this experience in his free verse poem “Dover Beach.” Arnold was a very passionate towards Christ, and in the mid 1800’s Christianity began dying out all across his homeland, England. Arnold wrote this free verse sitting on the shore of Dover Beach, suggesting the setting and the title of the poem, with his newly wedded wife to express his sadness of his nation losing faith....   [tags: Poetry, Rhyme, Grammatical person, Dover Beach]

Better Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Dover Beach ' By Matthew Arnold And ' Sea Fever '

- Wanderlust, founded America. Faith, keeps Americans hopeful. Adversity, promises change. The two poems, “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold and “Sea Fever” by John Masefield, perfectly illustrate the power of wanderlust, the power of suffering, and the power of faith, in the most complex battle against the human mind; the poems reveal literal and metaphorical vision of the sea. John Masefield, a copious writer, had a history of siding with the weak against the strong (Strong 356). Masefield found his identity in love of life and compassion for all that live it (356)....   [tags: Poetry, Stanza, Dover Beach, Human]

Better Essays
1624 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Matthew Arnold versus Aristotle's Poetics

- The value of imitation: a vision of Aristotle's Poetics Aristotle wrote his Poetics thousands of years before Matthew Arnold's birth. His reasons for composing it were different from Arnold's reasons for using it as an element of his own poetic criticism. We can safely say that Arnold was inclined to use the Poetics as an inspiration for his own poetry, and as a cultural weapon in the fight for artistic and social renewal. Aristotle, by contrast, was more concerned with discovering general truths, and with formalising truths already known intuitively within his own society....   [tags: Aristotle Imitation Matthew Arnold Poetry Poem]

Better Essays
3849 words (11 pages)

Matthew Arnold Essay

- Matthew Arnold Analysis Matthew Arnold, a British writer born in 1822, has written many famous poems. He was an intelligent man who used words to construct literary works about situations in his life. His poems deal with human issues, such as one’s psychological separation from the world and other people. Arnold’s poems all have an underlying theme of this idea, and he may have used it to show that he possibly felt isolated from his peers and the world in which he lived. He was one of the first poets to address his inner-most feelings and not be ashamed....   [tags: British Poetry, Rhyme Scheme]

Better Essays
2209 words (6.3 pages)

An Analysis of Arnold's Essay, The Function of Criticism at The Present Time

- Introduction The first thing to start with is the title. In order to understand Arnold’s essay we should first understand the title of the essay. As we notice that Matthew Arnold associates criticism with one function not many functions, but which function. He also mentions that this function of criticism is limited within a specific and particular time which is the present time and the past or the future time. Therefore, answering the questions of function and time of criticism goes with analyzing Matthew Arnold‘s essay through my reading of his essay....   [tags: Critical Analysis]

Better Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

The Voice of Victorian “Longing like Despair” Essay

- Matthew Arnold’s Poetry: The Voice of Victorian “Longing like Despair” John Stuart Mill defined the Victorian Era as “an age of transition”, where “Mankind will not be led by their old maxims, nor by their old guides.” Other contemporary minds saw in this transition the main source of profound intellectual and moral confusion, “that may validly be described as a crisis of personal identity.” (R. A. Forsyth) The poet and Victorian literary and social critic Matthew Arnold distinctly expresses his age’s deepest anxieties, rising from a world being utterly redefined by industrialisation....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Matthew Arnold ]

Better Essays
2087 words (6 pages)

Analysis of Literary Devices in Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and Arnold’s “Dover Beach

- William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” are intriguingly different poems that both use symbolism, similes, imagery, and metaphors as ways of expressing emotions and attitudes towards life. Although the two pieces of literature portray vastly different feelings, Wordsworth and Arnold both use nature to elucidate the speaker’s outlook. Interestingly enough, Matthew Arnold was a big fan of William Wordsworth’s work, which is most likely why his poetry is so similar to Wordsworth's....   [tags: nature, imagry, poetry]

Better Essays
554 words (1.6 pages)