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Literary Analysis Sailing to Byzantium vs. Dover Beach

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Isaiah Anderson

on 22 March 2013

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Transcript of Literary Analysis Sailing to Byzantium vs. Dover Beach

Poem Structure Rhyme Scheme- ABABABCC; Vowel sounds differ but the final consonants are the same
Meter- Iambic Pentameter Themes and Techniques Sailing To Byzantium
-William Butler Yeats Poem Structure Four stanzas, each containing a variable number of verses. The first stanza has 14 lines, the second 6, the third 8 and the fourth 9. Dover Beach
- Matthew Arnold Themes and Techniques Literary Analysis of Poetry
~By Isaiah Anderson Sailing to Byzantium VS Dover Beach
- William Butler Yeats - Matthew Arnold Author's Background Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1865
Born into the Anglo-Irish landowning class
involved with the Celtic Revival( a movement against the cultural influences of English rule)
Maud Gonne, famous for her nationalist politics, was a strong influence on his poetry
deeply involved in politics in Ireland
verse reflected a pessimism about the political situation in his country
His work after 1910 was strongly influenced by Ezra Pound
life-long interest in mysticism and the occult
Appointed a senator of the Irish Free State in 1922
W. B. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 and died in 1939 That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees —Those dying generations—at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect. An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium. O sages standing in God's holy fire As in the gold mosaic of a wall, Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, And be the singing-masters of my soul. Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity. Once out of nature I shall never take My bodily form from any natural thing, But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make Of hammered gold and gold enamelling To keep a drowsy Emperor awake; Or set upon a golden bough to sing To lords and ladies of Byzantium Of what is past, or passing, or to come. Old Age; although a person’s body eventually passes from the world, their soul will live on Primary Theme Secondary Theme(s) Art; Whereas human flesh is temporary, art will last forever
Neglect of the Aging; Society is so caught up in the present that they do not recognize the elderly who remain wise mentally. Technique #1 Alliteration
“Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long.”

Like animals, human beings, described as “flesh” share a common characteristic. Both live and die; in the persona’s former country, there is little to distinguish man from animal. Technique #2 Allegory
“An aged man is but a paltry thing / a tattered coat upon a stick.”
All humans, when they grow old, lose the vibrancy and energy of their youth. While there is a distinction between body and soul, the body has become considerably weakened. Technique #3 Simile
“As in the gold mosaic of a wall.”

The sages are described as being of gold to indicate their precious value. As they are mosaics, which are made of numerous pieces, the sages are not all of Byzantium, but represent a part of a greater whole. Technique #4 Personification
“Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing.”

The soul, though not physical like the body, is capable of feeling and understands emotion. The singing is metaphorical. The older one becomes, the louder one sings. Technique #5 Apostrophe

“O sages standing in God’s holy fire.”

The persona speaks directly with the sages of Byzantium, asking for their assistance in consuming his heart from flesh and molding it into eternity. Imagery Art- While humanity’s mortal flesh may decay over time, art is permanent in its longevity. Sculptures and mosaics are symbolic of heaven or the afterlife.Art- While humanity’s mortal flesh may decay over time, art is permanent in its longevity. Sculptures and mosaics are symbolic of heaven or the afterlife. Regeneration/Reincarnation- In Lines 24-26, the persona discusses his intention to leave his aging mortal body and become like the sages of Byzantium. Diction Form expresses the opposition between the persona’s homeland and Byzantium. The young are described as “sensual” whereas an old person is a “tattered coat upon a stick.” He asks for divine help in separating his soul from the “dying animal” that is his flesh. Author's Background (1822-1888)
Early recognition as a student at the Rugby School
developed an interest in education
Empedocles on Etna (1852) and Poems (1853) established Arnold's reputation as a poet
Professor of Poetry at Oxford (1857-1867)
sets forth ideas that greatly reflect the predominant values of the Victorian era
often wrestles with problems of psychological isolation
Arnold sought to establish the essential truth of Christianity
"Dover Beach," links the problem of isolation with what Arnold saw as the dwindling faith of his time
Arnold called for a new epic poetry: a poetry that would address the moral needs of his readers The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, 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. The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world. Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. Theme Negative outlooks on life inhibit one's abilities to be happy and to find purpose in life Technique #1 "Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agaean." The eternal note of sadness has been heard by men from the days of Ancient Greece to the modern era. Allusion Technique #2 Alliteration "Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand." While moonlight, like emotion, appears and dissapears, the cliffs of Dover remain untouched. Technique #3 Symbolism “The Sea of Faith was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore.” Human faith is symbolized as a physical sea whose turbulent waves are the result of a lack of faith in this new age of doubt. Technique #4 Onomotopoeia "Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling," The sea goes from being calm to chaotic, much like human emotion. Technique #5 Setting "Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, In Arnold's day, Britain and France, the center of the Age of Enlightenment, faith was steadily declining among the populace. Faith is declining within the human mind, leading many to search for a substitue. Secondary Theme(s) Love is clung to as security for human emotions. Basic iambic pattern Imagery Diction Persona uses first-, second-, and third-person point of view Mournful tone of an elegy and the personal intensity of a dramatic monologue Compare and Contrast General feeling of pessimism The Sea- A calm, silent sea represents a peaceful, quiet life, whereas the roar of the chaotic sea indicates darkness and confusion in the human soul Both Sailing to Byzantium and Dover Beach make use of nature in their imagery. While Yeats mentions the sea only in passing, in the act of sailing, the sea is a critical asset to Arnold’s poem.
Yeats discusses the aging of the human body and the soul’s yearning for immortality. Arnold reasons that human faith has been weakened which has thrown the soul into turmoil. Both make reference to the human soul, but while Yeats described the soul in a more passive, infallible sense, Matthew Arnold showed that the soul was capable of being wounded. References "W. B. Yeats." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. Cummings, Michael J. "Sailing to Byzantium: A Study Guide." Sailing to Byzantium: A Study Guide. N.p., 2010. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. "SAILING TO BYZANTIUMWilliam Butler Yeats." Web Scuola. N.p., 2007. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. "Matthew Arnold." - Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 2010. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. Sutton, Frances. ""Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold." "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold. N.p., 3 Apr. 2002. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. "Dover Beach." By Matthew Arnold : The Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.
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