Home > Free Essays > Literature > Comparative Literature > Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme

Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme Research Paper

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jul 4th, 2020

Isolation is the complex theme which is usually addressed in poetry in connection with the depiction of the characters’ interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts. Thus, the topic of isolation is discussed in Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach” (1867) with the focus on the changes in the social and religious life. In Thomas Hardy’s “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave” (1913), the topic of isolation is discussed more directly, but with the help of satire and irony.

Referring to these poems, it is possible to note that the idea of isolation can affect the persons at the social level, while accentuating the isolation between the social categories, and at the personal level, while concentrating on the individual’s isolation from the other persons. In spite of the fact that the theme of isolation is shown in both the poems, the idea of isolation is presented in Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach” with the focus on the melancholic isolation of people within the society because of their lost religious ideals and changed values; and in Hardy’s “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave”, isolation is the personal problem which affects an individual, not a society.

The feeling of isolation as the aspect of the social atmosphere is accentuated in Arnold’s poem. The poet is inclined to represent the isolation of everyone in the world of lost religious ideals. Thus, referring to the character’s melancholy, Arnold focuses on the “eternal note of sadness” and “human misery” (Arnold 14, 18). In the context of the Victorian era’s poetry, the problem of isolation is a result of the fact that the “Sea of Faith” is not as full and calm as it was previously (Arnold 21; Bristow 112). That is why, Arnold’s approach to melancholic isolation is accentuated with references to the character’s doubts and hesitations, and it is explained with references to the Victorian era’s crisis of faith.

Isolation is also the problem associated with the interpersonal relations and the role of the individual in the other people’s lives. In “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave”, Hardy discusses isolation as primarily the personal problem which is associated with sadness and fear of being forgotten. Following the satirical dialogue between the dead woman and the dog, it is possible to note that the woman is forgotten by every close person, including the “loved one”, the “nearest dearest kin”, and the “enemy” (Hardy 2, 8, 13).

Hardy stresses on the sadness of the woman’s isolation while focusing on her words: “What feeling do we ever find / To equal among human kind / A dog’s fidelity!” (Hardy 28-30). While referring to the ideals of the Victorian era, it is necessary to state that Hardy’s satire is directed toward the intolerant Victorian society the elements of which are also observed in the 1900s (Cronin 53; Dahiya 84). Thus, Hardy’s discussion of isolation is based on the idea of being remembered and noticed in the intolerant society.

In the Victorian era’s poetry, the theme of isolation is presented in the variety of forms. Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” is focused on the social development and the aspects of the religious life during the Victorian era. Thomas Hardy’s satirical “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave” discusses the topic of isolation as painful for the concrete representatives of the society. Thus, the poets manipulate the same theme of isolation, but Arnold is interested in the isolation of people within the society, and Hardy is focused on isolation as the personal problem. As a result, referring to the Victorian era, isolation seems to be the state which cannot be avoided within the society which lost its religious and humane ideals.

Works Cited

Arnold, Matthew. Matthew Arnold Selected Poems. UK: Sneakers Publishing, 2013. Print.

Bristow, Joseph. The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry. USA: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

Cronin, Richard. Reading Victorian Poetry. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.

Dahiya, Bhim. Major Trends in English Literature (1837-1945). UK: Academic Foundation, 1992. Print.

Hardy, Thomas. Hardy’s Selected Poems. UK: Courier Dover Publications, 1995. Print.

This research paper on Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Research Paper sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2020, July 4). Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme. https://ivypanda.com/essays/matthew-arnolds-and-thomas-hardys-poems-theme/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2020, July 4). Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/matthew-arnolds-and-thomas-hardys-poems-theme/

Work Cited

"Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme." IvyPanda, 4 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/matthew-arnolds-and-thomas-hardys-poems-theme/.

1. IvyPanda. "Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme." July 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/matthew-arnolds-and-thomas-hardys-poems-theme/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme." July 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/matthew-arnolds-and-thomas-hardys-poems-theme/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme." July 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/matthew-arnolds-and-thomas-hardys-poems-theme/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Matthew Arnold’s and Thomas Hardy’s Poems Theme'. 4 July.

Powered by CiteTotal, citing machine
More related papers