The Theme Of Love In Anthony Hecht's Dover Beach

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Relationships can be a roller-coaster of emotions especially when time is changing as people know it and often times in those relationships the individuals handle the change in different ways resulting in relationships failing. Such is the case in “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold a poem that discusses a man’s fear of the changing world around him and how it could potentially affect his own personal relationship. However the poem is only told from one perspective leaving the audience to infer that the person he is talking to agrees with his ideas. In “Dover B**ch” by Anthony Hecht he mocks Arnolds’s romantic and dramatic view of the world by writing a poem with a much more simplistic format told from the woman’s point-of-view. Despite both the…show more content…
The poem does use sensory language to evoke the ins and outs of relationships utilizing the speaker’s own relationship as a model. In the poem the captivating imagery helps reveals the conscious thoughts of the speaker and his perspective on love. Although his partner is never directly referenced he assumes that she too understands his panorama of love. In fact throughout the poem it consistently eludes love to faith a quote from the poem illustrates this, “The Sea of faith was once, too, at the full, and round Earth’s share”. However his thoughts on love seem to extend through to his views on the world. The speaker makes a reference to Sophocles (known for writing dramas that ended in tragically), “Sophocles long ago heard it on the A gaean, and it brought into his mind the turbid ebb and flow”, due to that reference it establishes the idea that both the speaker and Sophocles use the sea as a gate way to understanding the human relationships and the world as a whole. One of the main components of this poem is the emphasis on emotional intimacy in which the speaker goes to great lengths to connect with his partner. However as mentioned before his partner does not play a significant role in the poem until the very end causing his viewpoint on their relationship and what values are needed for it to thrive to be limited. On the other hand Hecht’s literary work has a drastically…show more content…
The poem refuses to idealize love in the manner that Arnold did instead optioning to take a more realistic approach. Not only does the poem take a more realistic stance there is a lack of emphasis on emotional intimacy and more on physical satisfaction, “But all the time he was talking she had in mind the notion of what his whiskers would feel like on the back of her neck”. The point-of-view has also shifted with the woman from Arnold’s thoughts being explored. Unlike her counterpart she is not focused on emotional intimacy instead her thoughts pertain to how her partner views her. Through her perspective her partner has reduced her to a last resort and implying that she needs to stay faithful in order to combat changing times. However readers learn that the woman has not been faithful and detest the ideas of what it meant to be a women in that time period. The author’s views on the world features blunt and non-romanticized ideals about relationships. That is to say that although the theme of relationships and how time affects them are presented in different perspectives they still have the baseline
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