Matthew Arnold?s dramatic monologue ?Dover Beach? portrays the way in which perceptions are deceptive. The use of technical qualities, symbolism, and imagery helps to support the speaker?s thoughts between what is seen and what is real.
Rhythm and meter are the most important devices in ?Dover Beach?. These mechanisms allow Arnold to use words as a way to portray the speaker?s struggle. Figures of speech, sounds, and irony of words are also used. Line one; ?The Sea is calm tonight? has a gentle rhythm that can be compared to the ?ebb and flow? of the sea. With this description one can imagine a beautiful beach with water lapping upon the shore. The second line also gives the image of a calm sea. It is not until line three that the rhythm is broken. This line begins and ends with an iamb but the middle is broken up. The choppiness in the sentence is a foreshadowing of potential problems to come. In the fourth line the poem?s rhythm continues to be broken up, but shortly after is recovered in line five. The rhyme scheme is: ABACD, with only the first and
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