Dover Beach Questions and Answers
by Matthew Arnold

Dover Beach book cover
Start Your Free Trial

"Dover Beach" was written when England was the most powerful and industrially sophisticated nation in the world. How does the poem comment on this time in English history?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,113 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The poem doesn't directly address Great Britain's position in the world, but it does suggest, albeit obliquely, its eventual decline. At the time when Arnold wrote "Dover Beach", Britain was indeed the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, with a vast empire stretching across almost a quarter of the globe. As well as being politically and economically strong, Britain had a thriving cultural life underpinned by a righteous Protestantism to which most Britons adhered without question.

(The entire section contains 249 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now