• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does the poem Dover Beach manage to convey the poets disgust and sense of hopelessness so well?

Extracts from this document...


How does the poem Dover Beach manage to convey the poet's disgust and sense of hopelessness so well? The poem 'Dover Beach' by Mathew Arnold conveys the upsetting views of the poet that the world is turning its back on religion. Told mostly in first person perspective, we see a change in the speaker's perception from seeing the world as soothing and hopeful but his thoughts turn to disgust and hopelessness. Arnold does this by using an extended metaphor littered with strong imagery and sensual sounds. The first stanza of the poem introduces the soothing setting of Dover Beach on the English coast. The poet describes the sea as "calm to-night. ...read more.


As if this storm were a disease, it is spreading far and wide and reducing the speaker's hope that the sea may return to its calm state. In stanza four, the central extended metaphor is released by the line "The Sea of Faith". In this metaphor the 'sea' mimics the general peace felt around the world in a time when morals were important and there was a reliance on God for guidance. Now that the sea is becoming violent, the speaker seems to become disgusted by the sights around him. No longer is "bright girdle" around his faith helping him feel secure, as it has been replaced by a "melancholy, long, withdrawing roar". As the tide retreats back to the ocean, so does the speaker's hope that it will ever return. ...read more.


These words strike up images of scared faces, paranoid encounters and general unease. He releases his final breaths of disgust as he unleashes the "ignorant armies [who] clash by night". Ignorant hear indicates the loss of knowledge, education and peace in the world as now people fight not for a cause, but for themselves. The extended metaphor here brings about a complete annihilation of the speaker's aspirations of the sea ever returning to the peace and tranquillity experienced in the first stanza. Striking imagery and startling sounds call forth the comparable destruction of Arnold's religious beliefs that only seemed to make sense when incorporated into a communal religious belief. The disgust and hopelessness that Arnold now feels for the world is characterized by the tide retreating leaving nothing but darkness and misery. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Poets essays

  1. TS Eliot Poetry/The Turning

    external forces, in "The Turning" is was religious influence and in "Prufrock" it was societal. Change although an inevitable force can be hindered by external influences. The inability to change is conveyed in Winton's story, Raelene fails to acknowledge the restrain upon her freedom due to her patriarchal relationship with Max.

  2. How does the poets mood change throughout the poem In Paris With You by ...

    The sixth and final stanza opens with a repeat of the first line of the fifth stanza, ?Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris?. In the next three lines Fenton uses the word ?Paris? three times as a substitute or metaphor for the word love when he

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work