Imageries Used in The Poem Dover Beach

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      The poem Dover Beach is a remarkable poetic place for the quaint description of nature and there is also a beautiful objective description of nature in the first stanza of the poem. The Sea-scape and the landscape are both in the subdued melancholic beauty of the coming and retreat of the waves at night. All these descriptions in the poem have been manifested clearly with the help of gorgeous imageries used by the poet. The music of the poem is equally quaint and severe. The first stanza describes the advance and retreat of the waves with tremulous rhythm, which again has been reflected with the help of various thoughts provoking imageries.

The Sea-scape and the landscape are both in the subdued melancholic beauty of the coming and retreat of the waves at night.
Dover Beach

      There are beautiful imageries in the poem. The description of a calm night, full tide, fair moon, glittering French coast, moon balanced land, pebbles coming and going, darkling plain, are all some of the most vivid imageries in the poem. At the beginning of the poem Matthew Arnold gives us at clear imagery of a calm night, where standing on the bank of English channel near the port of Dover. Arnold describes the full tide in the reaver which is also a great imagery. moon balanced land used in the poem as also an imagery gives an vivid picture of the seascape bathed in the quaint light of the moon then again the imagery of pebbles is also apt in the poem, he says:

"of pebbles which the waves draw back and fling..."

      The waves drawing back and again bringing the pebbles, used as an imagery gives the picture of pebbles on the shore being taken and thrown back by the waves of the sea. One can almost visualise or hear the grating roar of pebbles as the waves retreat. After that the imagery of sea of faith is also used appropriately where by this fine smilies describes the sea of faith lapping the earth in peace. This imagery of the sea and its adjuncts is continued throughout the poem. The Sea of faith is retreating down the precipices of time and is at a low ebb with the pebbles naked and stark. The famous concluding simile of ignorant armies classing by night is also a wonderful imagery. This imagery brings with it another appropriate imagery namely darkling plain which is used as allusion to the Battle of Epipolae, described by Thucydides. The famous Greek historian darkling plain as an imagery suggest the dreariness and darkness consequent on the retreat of the sea of faith.

      The poem, Dover Beach is remarkable for the quiet description of nature imagery and quiet music over which no one had greater mastery. There is beautiful objective description of Nature in the first stanza of the poem. The sea-scape and the landscape are bathed in the subdued melancholy beauty of the ebbtide at night. The opening lines record a series of particular items that suggest serenity, poise and stability the sea is calm; the tide is full the moon lies fair; the light gleams; and "the cliffs of England stand / glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay". Command over vowel sounds describes the quiet scene. Juxtaposition of glimmering and vast is highly appropriate for etching the background. A three syllabic word (glimming) is juxtaposed with a monosyllabic word (vast). This is essentially a juxtaposition of vowel sounds with strong consonant sound and it makes the natural scene complete and vivid. The noise and movement of the sea are rendered with a wonderful richness and fullness in the lines:

"Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in." 

      Thus the poem Dover Beach reveals a rich store house of well chosen, thought provoking imageries, which not only increases the appeal, at the same time contributes in to the poems universality.

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