This essay Matthew Arnold has a total of 1174 words and 6 pages.
Matthew Arnolds melancholy in life, religion, and love
In "Dover Beach," Matthew Arnold discusses his religious views, the melancholy in his life, and a new love, which he experiences by an isolated individual as he confronts the turbulent historical forces and the loss of religious faith in the modern world. Matthew Arnold?s faith in his religion is lost, and he is awaiting his lost love. He is melancholy.
The main theme in Matthew Arnold's, "Dover Beach," is when an isolated individual experiences anxiety as one is confronted by the turbulent historical forces and the loss of the religious faith in the modern world. Matthew Arnold is an author who strongly voices his opinion on topics on such topics as religion, life, love, and the sadness that goes along with what is gone or lost. For example, Matthew Arnold states,
"Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night"
Matthew Arnold gives his views on life, love and the world. He explains that the world is similar to a land of dreams, and that it is something beautiful and peaceful, but in actuality, Arnold says that it is not. Arnold states that we are like the waves that crash and hit the shore, struggling and fighting for our place on this earth. He says that love is the cure for all of the struggling and fighting that takes place on earth. Love is the only thing that he can rely on right now, even though his love is not in his life. Love is Arnold's way of escaping the harsh realities in life. He says that life is a struggle, and that are not any signs of joy, love, light, certitude, peace, nor help from pain.
Matthew Arnold had a strong belief in his religion but now it is lost. Alan Roper says, "To combine with an economy rare in Arnold his preoccupation with a lovers? communication, the difference between epochs, the wistful delusions of moonlit scenes, the disappearance of religious certitude, the anarchy of modern life" (Roper, 178). Matthew Arnold says:
"The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth?s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl?d.
But now I only hear
It?s melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world. (Arnold 830-831).
His Religion was strong at one point, but then he lost faith in God and in his own beliefs, and at that point was when he lost his religion. The sea of faith symbolizes the movement away from religion and anger. This is the literal sea, which means that the sea is the way that it has always been seen.
Many readers of Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach," have experienced the same eternal not of sadness at Dover Beach. Machann says, "Arnold would probably be shocked to know how modern readers linger in his forest glade, how many have heard the eternal note of sadness at Dover Beach and taken courage from his courage, how many scholar gypsies there are among us, how many have felt the chill of the Carthosians and know ourselves better in the morning" (Machann, 94). Matthew Arnold has lead the way for courage, and he has taught people that even though there is this eternal note of sadness, that others have experienced, there is still the ability to be courageous and fight.
Matthew Arnold explains that his love is gone, and that his love comes back but in spirit. Arnold says:
"Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch?d land,
Listen! You hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in"
Johnson states that to Matthew Arnold, love is the most important idea on this land. Johnson says, "Arnold's
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