Why does Mathew Arnold mention Sophocles in this excerpt from “Dover Beach”?
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
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It enhances the dramatic quality of the poem.
Sophocles drew inspiration from the sea.
It enhances the melancholic tone of the poem.
Sophocles inspires the poet to write.
the purpose of introducing sophocles into the poem is to show that even long ago, long before arnold even began to write poems, people saw that human misery flows through the body like a rising and falling tide. then he goes on to say that even now we have acquainted ourselves with those same thoughts.
take a look at the language used in the poem, as well. "the eternal note of sadness"... "human misery"... i'm getting at one of the answers here, but i want to see if you're on the same page with me.
(also, let me know if you get a chance to read self-dependence, by the same author. LOVE that poem!! :) )
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@mistermew I am on the same page, I think B.. maybe C?? What do you think?
I will let you know.. I really liked this poem. The structure was something new and the author is great.
i was thinking C more than B, and i'll tell you why -- the topic of the poem isn't really sophocles. he is mentioned and he has importance, but the poem itself focuses on a larger, more encompassing idea than just one man. but, what this one man experiences contributes to this main idea.
to put it simply, it's a pretty sad poem. he's talking about sad things. he includes sophocle's experiences almost as a way to say, "hey look, i'm not the only one who realized how depressing the world is!"
that's why C is my first choice. but, i can't tell you what to choose, as our understanding of the poem/what we got from it in the end probably differ.
(that's why i hate multiple choice questions for poem analysis. just sayin'.)
@mistermew Understandable! Thank you for all your help. It is a very sad poem so C I will choose..
no problem! i'm always happy to help (and discuss poetry!) let me know if that turns out to be the right answer.