Example research essay topic: How Matthew Arnold Differs From Other Victorian Poets – 793 words

Matthew Arnold, poet and critic was undoubtedly an
eminent Victorian. His poetry represented its age
in far profounder way. The Victorian age is one of
the most remarkable periods in the history of
inland. It was an era of material prosperity,
political consciousness, dramatic reforms,
industrial and mechanical progress, scientific
advancement social unrest, educational expansion
and religions uncertainly. Against such a
background, the poets, the novelists and the
essayist of this age wielded this profile pen to
portray the panorama of life as observed by them.
In the field of poetry Tennyson and Browning are
said to represent this age in their poetical
works. Arnold, though not considered equal to
them, also represents this age in his poems.

But
the tone of his poetry and his attitude to life as
expressed in his poems are completely different
from those of Tennyson and browning. Tennyson,
Browning and Arnold are great poets; each in his
individual way each of them represents one
tendency or the other of the Victorian mind. While
Tennyson is euphoric about the materiel port of
the Victorian society, Arnold is pacifically
conscious about the confusion and tension of the
age. Browning on the other hand pursued an
orthodox attitude toward Christianity and chose to
deal with the psychological problems of men and
women. Arnold is completely different from both
Tennyson and Browning in his attitude towards
life, his sentimentality as well as his passionate
love for nature. Life to Arnold appears to be fall
of darkness and gloom and he feels like a
benighted traveler in a foreign land without any
light of hope: And we are here on a darkling
plain swept with confused alarm of Struggle on
where ignorant armies clash by night This feeling
of misery and melancholy throbs practically in
every poem of Arnold.

To him the world is a vale
of tears, not of hope visualized by Tennyson and
Browning. It is a place to snuffer, not to enjoy
as desorbed By Tennyson in his poem Ulysses. In
wres Beach, the world is represented as a dreamy
desert. The sea of faith has ebbed and there is
nothing lent sadness and misery. Both Tennyson and
Browning behaved inn the possibilities of man.
Tennyson in his Ulysses says: To strive, to seek,
to find and not to yield Browning beehives that
this world is a place for straggle and under the
guidance of god, man is sure to attain success. He
says: Gods in his Heaven Alls right with the
world But in the poem Rugby chapel Arnold says: Most men eddy about Here and there, eat and drink
Chatter and love and hate Gather and squander
Staining blindly, achieving nothing Browning has
unquestionable faith in god, Tennysons belief in
god is equally strong, because their minds were
not disturbed by the new scientific thoughts.

On
the other hand, Arnold says in Dover Beach: The
sea of faith was once, too at the full and round
earths show lay like the folds of bright girdle
furld; But now I only hear Its melancholy, long
with drawing roar In this world of science,
religions belief has disappeared. Doubt and
disbelief have combined to force back the wave of
faith from the shore of the world and the world is
now like a coast on which cold pebbles lie about
in complete desolation. In the treat went of
nature Arnold is quite different from other
Victorian poets. Tennysons nature was tinged with
romantic colors. He was a worshipper of beauty
like Keats. He had an unfailing thought not
passionate love of beauty.

But nature of Arnold is
scientific. He has the unerring eye of the
scientist in the presentation of the objects of
nature. He dwells on each detail of nature with a
quiet joy in his beauty, colors, form or sound
poet Arnold not only sees the loveliness of
natures doings, but he also sees her terrors, her
dreadfulness and her relentlessness. His
observation of nature lacks the warmth and rich
that marked the romantic Treatment of nature,
which we find considerably in the works of
Tennyson. In Arnolds Treatment of nature, there is
a tinge of melancholy, because he is, all the
time, being reminded of the contrasts she presents
to human life. In this respect Arnold resembles
Shelley, who looked upon nature as marked by
perfection and peace as contrasted with the
restlessness, the absence of peace, which mark the
life of man.

Among the Victorian poets, Arnold
occupies the middle place. He could neither share
Brownings optimism nor could he join the exultant
positivism of Tennyson. Arnold was caught between
two worlds- a traditional world of faith and peace
that was dying and a new world of great
expectation that was squiggling to be born..

Research essay sample on How Matthew Arnold Differs From Other Victorian Poets