Essay Two: The theme of ‘Phantasm versus Actuality’ in Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Seashore’ ‘Dover Seashore’ is a poem by the English poet Matthew Arnold. The locale of the poem is the English ferry port of Dover Kent, dealing with Calais, France. This was the place the place Matthew Arnold honeymooned in 1851 (Wikipedia Contributors).
In Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Seashore’, the speaker attracts visible imagery to point out that what is mostly perceived is fake and therefore an phantasm, and he contrasts it utilizing aural imagery to point out what is really actual, the bitter actuality of shedding religion in a single’s custom, tradition, and faith. The poem is erratically divided into 4 stanzas. The primary stanza has fourteen strains, whereas the second, third, and fourth have six, eight, and 9 strains, respectively. Ruth Pitman calls this poem a collection of incomplete sonnets (109).
The poem has no specific rhyme scheme aside from stanza 4 which follows the rhyme scheme- abbacddcc. The occasions described within the poem allude to the Victorian Period (1837-1901) (Wikipedia Contributors), which was a time of industrialization and introduction of scientific theories and concepts such because the Principle of Evolution which questioned main ideas of Christianity. Some critics say that the speaker within the poem is Matthew Arnold himself as a result of the situation the place the occasions within the poem happen is
Dover seaside, the place Arnold went for honeymoon together with his spouse. The poem is considered composed in 1851 and that's the yr when Arnold honeymooned (Wikipedia Contributors). The speaker paints visible imagery of the scene in strains 1-Eight. Phrases comparable to ‘calm’ and ‘tranquil’ create a picture of stability whereas phrases comparable to ‘glimmering’ and ‘huge’ describe the visible fantastic thing about the scene. The primary stanza additionally makes use of phrases like ‘roar’ and ‘tremulous cadence’ to attract an aural picture of the scene.
Discover the distinction Arnold attracts through the use of visible and aural imagery; the previous expresses phantasm (calm, stunning, tranquil, and many others. ) and the latter expresses actuality (tremulous cadence) which induces disappointment. The start of the primary stanza describes the fantastic thing about ‘Dover seaside’. Halfway by way of the stanza, the speaker invitations his love (talked about in stanza 4) to ‘come to the window’ (line 6) and take heed to the grating roar of the pebbles. By saying ‘come to the window’ the speaker desires his like to see issues from his perspective.
Alternatively, it might additionally imply taking a look at issues intently as implied by strains seven and eight the place the speaker mentions that ‘solely, from the lengthy line of spray the place the ocean meets the moon-blanched land’ (the shore) are you able to hear the ‘grating roar of pebbles’. The sound made by the pebbles when it's drawn and flung by waves, creates a word of disappointment within the speaker’s coronary heart. The primary stanza exhibits the incompatibility between what's perceived and what's actually actual. The fabric issues of the world are in a method an phantasm created by the world however the reality could be solely identified once we intently examine all the things.
By introducing Sophocles (Greek playwright) within the second stanza, the speaker desires to emphasise the truth that he isn't the one one to expertise disappointment induces by the sound of pebbles tossed about by the waves which ‘introduced into his (Sophocles’) thoughts the turbid ebb and circulate of human distress’ (strains 17-18). The speaker feels the identical. This poem was written within the Victorian Period. It was a time of industrialization, financial prosperity and introduction of scientific concepts comparable to ‘Darwin’s Evolution Principle’ which made individuals query custom, tradition, and faith.
Individuals misplaced all their religion; although on the surface they appeared calm, completely satisfied and in management, the speaker feels that deep down inside all of them skilled disappointment attributable to their lack of religion (stanza three). Within the third stanza, the speaker talks about religion. The speaker feels that folks was full of religion however as a result of trendy age and its concepts, individuals have misplaced their religion in custom, tradition, and faith. The speaker illustrates this through the use of the picture of garments. When individuals had religion in faith, the world was clothed (Lay just like the folds of a shiny girdle furled).
As soon as they misplaced their religion, they had been stripped of those garments like ‘bare shingles of the earth’. Thus, the third stanza brings out the bitter actuality of that point. Depressed by the situation of people the speaker turns to his lover and desires them to be true to 1 one other. Stanza 4 brings again the phantasm offered in stanza one. The speaker says, “For the world, which appears to lie earlier than us like a land of desires, so numerous, so stunning, so new, hath actually neither pleasure, nor love, nor gentle, nor certitude, nor peace, nor assist for ache” (strains 30-34).
Right here the phrase ‘appears’ implies that the world isn’t what it's usually perceived (it's an phantasm) as (land of desires, stunning and many others. ) but it surely has bitter actuality hooked up to it. This melancholy consciousness of the poet is put completely by Rodney Delasanta; he wrote, “The theme of the poem (the poet’s melancholy consciousness of the horrible incompatibility between phantasm and actuality) is supported by way of visible imagery to specific phantasm and auditory imagery to specific actuality” (1).
Wayne Schow factors out an fascinating factor; the phrasing of the poem is just like Romans Eight:38-39, the place Paul writes: For I'm persuaded, that neither demise, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor issues current, nor issues to return, nor top, nor depth, nor every other creature, shall have the ability to separate us from the love of God. This exhibits that Arnold knew the Bible effectively. He might have used it intentionally to distinction the piece of scripture from Romans to emphasise the present state of humankind (27).
Arnold’s “Dover Seashore” makes use of imagery, symbolism, and different poetic gadgets to disclose the theme of phantasm versus actuality. All through the poem we are able to see the speaker’s battle which is effectively supported by the inconsistent rhythm and meter. The speaker superbly describes it through the use of visible imagery to specific illusions and aural imagery to specific harsh actuality. The speaker expresses his want to have religion and be sincere together with his love however in direction of the tip of the poem slides again to pessimism as a result of realization of the fact.
Wikipedia contributors. "Victorian period. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 Oct. 2012. Net. 23 Oct. 2012.
Wikipedia contributors. "Dover Seashore. " Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Sep. 2012. Net. 23 Oct. 2012. Pitman, Ruth. “On Dover Seashore. ” Essays in Criticism. XXIII (1973): 109-136. Net. 23 Oct. 2012.
Schow, H. Wayne. “Arnold’s Dover Seashore. ” The Explicator. (1998): 26-27. Net. 23 Oct. 2012.
Delasanta, Rodney. Explicator. XVIII (1959): 1. Net. 23 Oct. 2012. Fain, John T.
“Arnold’s Dover Seashore. ” (2002): 40-42. Net. 23 Oct. 2012.