Criticism of Life in The Poem Dover Beach

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      The poet looks at the tide of the sea at night. He sees the tide going out of the cliffs of Dover, suggesting to the poet, the retreat of faith in the modern age, the poet offers a criticism of life. The Victorian poetry is the poetry of doubt and questioning. The rise of signs and of a materialist philosophy which laid claims to a total explanation of the universe produced profound internal conflicts. Arnold's poetry is typical of this spirit of scepticism. The poet hears the melancholy withdrawing roar of the sea of faith.

The poet looks at the tide of the sea at night. He sees the tide going out of the cliffs of Dover
Dover Beach

      Dover Beach as a poem is a criticism of life in the sense that it is based on Matthew Arnold profound depiction of the melancholy prevailed upon the society of the Victorians. He  laments the retreats of faith and the confusion and clause that has come in the wake of loss of faith.

      Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold was written in 1851 and being a short poem it embrace a great range and depth of significance. The poem is in many respects representative of the mind and art of the poet. Matthew Arnold has watched the pessimistic condition of contemporary Victorian society, where he feels that all the good qualities of human faith, mercy, pity are all lost forever in the earth. He wants to find shelter in a positive faith, he is religious by nature disclosing his melancholy preoccupation with the thought of the inevitable decline of religious faith. And he expresses his believes that in a successful love-relationship, he may release values to which the world is hostile. Since the use of religious faith makes it impossible to believe that the universe is in some degree adjusted to human needs, he must seek in human love for those values which cannot be discovered elsewhere. Moreover the love must support each other if they are to live in the modern world without disaster. Faith in one another mutual cooperation and understanding if the only encourage in this world of intellectual confusion and doubts.
He utters strongly:-

"Ah love let us be true to one another..."

      It is in this sense the Dover Beach can be truly called a poetic masterpiece which reflects on some of the too serious for major issues of human life, at the same time the poet has offered the solution to all chaos, which will lead us towards the happy moment of life and hence it is a criticism of life.

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