Matthew Arnold Text Analysis Theme The theme is the central message of a work. Matthew Arnold’s themes often reflect his concerns about Victorian society. The following elements can contribute to a poem’s theme. • Mood: the atmosphere that the author creates for the reader. The mood can remain the same or change during a poem. • Imagery and figurative language: details that create vivid mental pictures, appeal to the senses, and help readers understand ideas by making comparisons • Allusions: references to people, places, or literary works Directions: Record the key moods, imagery, figurative language, and allusions in each poem. Then use your notes to write a sentence stating the theme of each poem. “Dover Beach” Imagery and Figurative Language Mood Allusions Theme “To Marguerite—Continued” Imagery and Figurative Language Mood Allusions Theme Analyze Speaker The speaker of a poem is the voice that “talks” to the reader. In each of these poems, Arnold adopts the persona of a specific speaker. You can analyze poetic speakers by asking yourself specific questions about the speaker’s point of view, state of mind, and attitude. Directions: Complete the charts to analyze the speaker of each poem. Record your thoughts as well as evidence from the text that supports your reactions. “Dover Beach” Questions About the Speaker My Thoughts Whom is he addressing? Where does he seem to be? What is his state of mind? Does his attitude change over the course of the poem? If so, how? “To Marguerite—Continued” Questions About the Speaker Whom is he addressing? Where does he seem to be? What is his state of mind? Does his attitude change over My Thoughts Evidence from the Text Evidence from the Text the course of the poem? If so, how?