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How does Matthew Arnold create a sense of foreboding in Dover Beach?

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Introduction

How does Matthew Arnold create a sense of foreboding in Dover Beach? The poem Dover Beach, written in 1951, by Matthew Arnold, creates a sense of foreboding in some points along the verses. One of the main themes in this poem is the fact that the poet is starting to lose his faith in God and religion, he is unsure whether to believe in him or not. This conveys a sense of chaos and turmoil. In the opening lines of the poem's first stanza, the sea is calm and peaceful, the moon is shining and the air is sweet. Matthew Arnold is looking out onto the beach at night with his new wife and describing what he sees, as we can see from this quote: "Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!". ...read more.

Middle

We can establish that a contrast is formed to the scenery of the previous stanza. Although there is a distance in time and space: "Aegean", "northern sea", the general feeling of suspicion remains. In the third stanza, Matthew Arnold describes the "sea of faith" as the divine protection of religious devotion, as an encircling "bright girdle furl'd" that is now retreating previous to human reason. The "Sea of Faith", which is a metaphor representing the Middle Ages, when religion could still be practiced without the concerns and distrust that the modern ages brought. The poem represents the �poque when religion was still intact, by representing how the world was dressed, "like the folds of a bright girdle furled", and comparing it to when this faith is gone, "The vast edges drear/and naked shingles of the world". ...read more.

Conclusion

Matthew Arnold's emotional response prefigures through the stanzas like a poetic praise and bewail for the future of mankind in a world where there is no religion, no belief or faith in itself. The only magnificence of the Dover Beach that Matthew Arnold portrays is of no use at all, serving only as a brief, temporary triumph that soon tumbles down into a menacing melancholy of the realizing that none of the emotion he finds in the landscape is real. To Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach is nothing more than his own creativity and thoughts, of what a perfect world with faith would be like; it is only there to serve the purpose of his own imagination. ?? ?? ?? ?? Diogo Pina Ferreira ...read more.

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