Matthew Arnold

(1822-1888 / Middlesex / England)

Matthew Arnold
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Although remembered now for his elegantly argued critical essays, Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) began his career as a poet, winning early recognition as a student at the Rugby School where his father, Thomas Arnold, had earned national acclaim as a strict and innovative headmaster. Arnold also studied at Balliol College, Oxford University. In 1844, after completing his undergraduate degree at Oxford, he returned to Rugby as a teacher of classics. After marrying in 1851, Arnold began work as a government school inspector, a grueling position which nonetheless afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout England and the Continent. Throughout his thirty-five years in this position Arnold ... more »

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Quotations

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  • The working-class ... is now issuing from its hiding-place to assert an Englishman's heaven-born privilege of doing as he likes, and is beginning to perplex us by marching where it likes, meeting wher...
    Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Culture and Anarchy, ch. 3 (1869).
  • ''Our society distributes itself into Barbarians, Philistines and Populace; and America is just ourselves with the Barbarians quite left out, and the Populace nearly.''
    Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Culture and Anarchy, preface (1859). Arnold held that literature was of paramount importance for...
  • ''The discipline of the Old Testament may be summed up as a discipline teaching us to abhor and flee from sin; the discipline of the New Testament, as a discipline teaching us to die to it.''
    Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Culture and Anarchy, ch. 4 (1869).
  • ''One has often wondered whether upon the whole earth there is anything so unintelligent, so unapt to perceive how the world is really going, as an ordinary young Englishman of our upper class.''
    Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Culture and Anarchy, ch. 2 (1869).
  • ''Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!''
    Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), British poet, critic. Essays in Criticism, preface, First Series (1865). Referring to Oxford University; see Arnold's ...
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Comments about Matthew Arnold

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  • Rookie - 49 Points Matt Ancient (5/1/2011 3:13:00 PM)

    like his poetries and personality

  • Rookie Janice Wilkins (4/28/2009 5:45:00 PM)

    Dover Beach is one of my favorite things to read and I think it's about a world

    without Faith and God to trust. With God everything is possible. Jan 4-28-09

  • Rookie Daphne Grant (5/21/2007 3:06:00 PM)

    The poem like Dover Beach leads me to think that something happened to embitter the poet. Therefore I feel I should read more about him.
    Daphne Grant

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Best Poem of Matthew Arnold

Dover Beach

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-blanch'd 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 ...

Read the full of Dover Beach

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