the dover beach
The poem is a dramatic monologue where the speaker is the poet, listener is the wife and we – the readers are the audience. The theme of the poem is of conflict between religion and science. The poem is set in Dover beach, dover is a town in southern england that connects the english channel on southern to north sea on northern.
The poem starts with description of the nature, “The sea is calm...” he uses sea to symbolize science and the cliff to symbolize religion. “moon lies fair upon the strait” shows the reflection or continuous shine of the science and “cliffs of England stand glimmering and vast” shows the blinking of light that is the faith in religion that is sometimes strong and sometimes weak. he also calls his wife to view the nature from the window, “come to the window, ...”
In the second stanza he starts with the “moon blanched land” that is the land that seems white due to the reflection of the moon and the sea. “grating roar of pebbles...” portraits the clashing and disturbing sound of the pebbles that is the violence. The last two lines express the slow rhythm of the conflict that cause sadness.
He uses allusion “Sophocles long ago....”in the starting of the poem by refereeing to his story that said that atheism would cause misery. “we find also in the sound....” then the poet expresses his the feelings he understands from the sound of the sea, that is the same thought as Sophocles had, this creates a relation between the eras.
In the beginning of the 4th stanza the poet uses the “sea of faith” to express the faith in religion that once people had, the whole earth believed in god, “lay like folds.” but then he speaks about the present era where the religionis withdrawing itself from the world creating an effect of sorrow, “its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” he ends the stanza with grief caused by confusin that is