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Dover Beach

Dover Beach

by Matthew Arnold

Analysis: Allusions

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Sophocles (15-20) was one of the great playwrights of ancient Greece, famous for his tragedies, including Oedipus the King and Antigone. He lived in the 5th century BCE, in the Greek city of Athens, on the Aegean sea. The speaker of "Dover Beach" imagines the great writer standing next to the water, listening to the waves, and thinking the kind of epically tragic thoughts Sophocles must have had all the time.

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