An analysis of the essay sweetness and light by matthew arnold the perfection of the being

Life Matthew was the eldest son of the renowned Thomas Arnoldwho was appointed headmaster of Rugby School in Matthew entered Rugby and then attended Oxford as a scholar of Balliol College; there he won the Newdigate Prize with his poem Cromwell and was graduated with second-class honours in For Oxford Arnold retained an impassioned affection.

An analysis of the essay sweetness and light by matthew arnold the perfection of the being

See also, criticism on Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism. Arnold is considered one of the most significant writers of the late Victorian period in England. However, it was through his prose writing that Arnold asserted his greatest influence on literature.

His writings on the role of literary criticism in society advance classical ideals and advocate the adoption of universal aesthetic standards.

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Biographical Information Arnold was the eldest son of Thomas Arnold, an influential educator who served as headmaster of Rugby School for a number of years. Arnold himself attended Rugby from toand it was while he was a student there that he composed the prize-winning poem Alaric at Rome, which was published in After graduating from Balliol College at Oxford inArnold accepted a teaching post at the university and continued to write verse, publishing The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems in Two years later he was appointed inspector of schools, a position he held until shortly before his death.

Arnold focused his energies on poetry untilwhen he became critical of Romantic expressions of emotion in poetry.

An analysis of the essay sweetness and light by matthew arnold the perfection of the being

For the remaining thirty-five years of his literary career, Arnold wrote numerous essays and reviews on literary, educational, and cultural issues; his controversial perspective on Christianity provoked the outrage of conservative politicians and religious thinkers.

He died of heart failure on April 15, The following year, he reissued the collection without its title poem. Explaining his actions in his preface to the reissued collection, an essay that has become one of his most significant critical statements, Arnold denounced the emotional and stylistic excesses of late Romantic poetry and outlined a poetic theory derived from Aristotelian principles of unity and decorum.

With the appearance of St. Arnold attributed this crisis to the conflict between the prevailing influence of scientific rationalism and the intransigence of conservative theology.

His solution was a liberal, symbolic interpretation of biblical scripture, presented in Literature and Dogma: An Essay towards a Better Apprehension of the Biblethe publication of which caused an immediate uproar among conservative Church leaders and religious theorists.

Two years later Arnold answered his critics in God and the Bible: During his final years, Arnold made two tours of the United States and recorded his overwhelmingly negative assessment of American culture in Civilization in the United States: First and Last Impressions of America Similarly, Culture and Anarchy: Barbarians the aristocracyPhilistines the middle classand the Populace the lower class.

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While Arnold praised the aristocracy for their refined manners and social assurance, he also condemned them for their conservatism. The lower class he dismissed as an ineffectual, inchoate mass. Arnold argued that as the middle class gradually assumed control of English politics, they must be transformed from their unpolished state into a sensitive, sophisticated, intellectual community.

Arnold also endorsed the eventual creation of a classless society in which every individual would subscribe to highly refined ideals based on the culture of ancient Greece.

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Although Arnold strove to imitate classical Greek and Roman models in his poetry, critics agree that his work manifests Romantic subjectivism.

Many of his poems assume the form of a soliloquy or confession in which the narrator communicates feelings of melancholy or regret. Hawkes relates that the role of criticism as described by Arnold and his contemporaries is often haunted by the notion that it is secondary to the actual happening.

Instead, says Hawkes, Arnold himself viewed criticism as a necessary and complementary act to the primary text or idea it was examining, often serving to illustrate uncanny and noteworthy aspects not inherent in the original text or incident.The book contains most of the terms – culture, sweetness and light, Barbarian, Philistine, Hebraism, and many others – which are more associated with Arnold's work influence.

Notes [ edit ] ^ Robert H. Super, Culture and Anarchy with Friendship's Garland and Some Literary Essays, Volume V of The Complete Works of Matthew Arnold, The University of Michigan Press, First published: Arnold borrowed the phrase 'sweetness and light' from Swift.

The character of a man of culture is moulded by religion and poetry. The aim of religion is to make man perfect ethically, where as the poetry possesses the idea of beauty and of human nature perfect on all its sides.

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Discuss Matthew Arnold's concept of culture. During the late s, Matthew Arnold recognized the fazing out of feudalism and the inception of the modern era. Arnold believed that culture dealt with perfection; as he stated in 'Sweetness and Light', 'Culture is then properly describe not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection' (21)/5(5).

Matthew Arnold: Culture and Anarchy () Culture is properly described as having its origin in the love of per-fection; it is a study of perfection.

Matthew Arnold: Matthew Arnold, English Victorian poet and literary and social critic, noted especially for his classical attacks on the contemporary tastes and manners of the “Barbarians” (the aristocracy), the “Philistines” (the commercial middle class), and the “Populace.” He became the apostle of “culture” in.

The Idea of Culture: Matthew Arnold