English 101-003, Essay 1
February 15, 2018
What The World Could Be Without Human Misery
“Dover Beach” is a poem written by the poet Matthew Arnold in the mid-1800’s. The speaker seems to be a man. A man who is going through some sort of depression or crisis. A crisis that has changed what he used to see. This man isn’t alone though. There are a few lines that suggest that someone is there with the speaker. As one goes through the poem, the speaker’s crisis becomes more relevant, and that it has made them a way they do not wish to be. All these things start to point the reader towards how the speaker is losing his faith, either religious or not, and this is making him very despondent and fatalistic; what struggle in the speaker currently experiencing within himself.
The speaker is very demanding “Come to the window” (line 6) then again he tells the person “Listen!” (8) that way to get their attention and to do something. The speaker is also very educated. He references a Greek tragedian in stanza two, “Sophocles long ago / Heard it on the Aegean” (14-15) By the speaker referencing Sophocles this show that he received schooling which men during the time period were able to receive. With the speaker being male this helps you start to deduce who he might be there with.
Though there a few ways to tell, the speaker is there with someone, whom he is speaking to. In the first stanza, he says “Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!” (6) The speaker here is trying to get the attention of the person. He wants them to come experience the night and what is on the outside of the room that they are in. After getting the person to come to the window and take in the air, he tells them “Listen! you hear the grating roar… / …The eternal note of sadness in.” (8-13) While these line don’t tell you much about who the speaker might be talking to; it does suggest what the speaker wants to the person to experience and draw in. The speaker wants this person to listen to this roar and not just the sound it puts off. He wants this person to draw the sound into their being and understand how this roar is the sound of sadness. The last very obvious clue that speaker is there with someone whom he is talking to and telling his thoughts to starts the last stanza. The speaker says “Ah, love, let us be true/ To one another!” (28) which gives detail suggesting that the person is a romantic partner of the speaker. What the speaker is saying to this person though is let us be honest and open and do the things for each other that we wouldn’t do with anyone else. Let us tell each other secrets and things that others wouldn’t be told. Even though the speaker is talking to someone the entirety of the poem what really matters is what he is telling this person.
Many lines suggest that...