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Conflicting Imagery in Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach In the poem Dover Beach, the poet utilizes contradictory imagery to give meaning to the poem. The gaps in the way that the poet sees the relationship between the beach and the sea and also the way which the majority of folks would see it become more pronounced as the poem grows. He also uses the shift in mindset from the first stanza into the past to emphasize his speech. The poem begins with the normal image one could expect of a beach and a calm moonlit night, but immediately moves into an entirely different point of view. By the conclusion of the first stanza the sea is no longer calm and calm, but crashing with a 'grating roar'. The poet has taken a picture that most people today connect with tra...