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Matthew Arnold
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Matthew Arnold


In a letter to his mother, Matthew Arnold described himself as having "less poetical sentiment than Tennyson and less intellectual vigour" than Browning, but thought he fused both strengths better than either of them.
  English poet and literary critic (1822-1888)
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Notes:
In an 1869 letter to his mother, Arnold wrote:

"My poems represent, on the whole, the main movement of mind of the last quarter of a century, and thus they will probably have their day as people become conscious to themselves of what that movement of mind is, and interested in the literary productions which reflect it. It might be fairly urged that I have less poetical sentiment than Tennyson and less intellectual vigour and abundance than Browning; yet because I have perhaps more of a fusion of the two than either of them, and have more regularly applied that fusion to the main line of modern development, I am likely enough to have my turn as they have had theirs."
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  • In a letter to his mother, Matthew Arnold described himself as having "less poetical sentiment than Tennyson and less intellectual vigour" than Browning, but thought he fused both strengths better than either of them.
  • "You remember Matthew Arnold, don’t you?"
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • But at my age, with a snootful of English Lit. that made me as savagely demanding as Matthew Arnold in my insistence that the written word exemplify only the highest seriousness and truth, I treated these forlorn offspring of a thousand strangers’ lonely and fragile desire with the magisterial, abstract loathing of an ape plucking vermin from his pelt.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • 27 Matthew Arnold, On Translating Homer.
    Homer  --  The Iliad

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  • Matthew Arnold opted for the hexameter, with the English stress accent replacing classical syllabic length, but the specimen translations he offered did not help to commend his choice.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • A deaf gardener, aproned, masked with Matthew Arnold’s face, pushes his mower on the sombre lawn watching narrowly the dancing motes of grasshalms.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • And Senator Einar once remarked: The late Matthew Arnold used to say that American public men lacked what he called "distinction."
    John F. Kennedy  --  Profiles in Courage
  • And perhaps there are several poets not mentioned today whom it might be worth while considering—Keats, for instance, and Matthew Arnold and Rossetti and Swinburne.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • Hayward talked of Richard Feverel and Madame Bovary, of Verlaine, Dante, and Matthew Arnold.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • Matthew Arnold, in an address on Emerson delivered in Boston, gave an excellent estimate of the rank we should accord to him in the great hierarchy of letters.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Selected Essays

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  • As a rookie NFL head coach, Bill Walsh was able to stand on the sideline in the pose of a man before a fire with a glass of port in one hand and a volume of Matthew Arnold’s essays in the other.
    Michael Lewis  --  The Blind Side
  • The great Doctor, whom of all men I most revere, swaying a little from side to side among the tables, the bound volumes, has dealt out Horace, Tennyson, the complete works of Keats and Matthew Arnold, suitably inscribed.
    Virginia Woolf  --  The Waves
  • It shows a sonority and a stateliness that you must go to the Latin of the Golden Age to match; its "highly charged and heavy-shotted" periods, in Matthew Arnold’s phrase, serve admirably the obscurantist purposes of American pedagogy and of English parliamentary oratory and leader-writing; it is something for the literary artists of both countries to prove their skill upon by flouting it.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • The University has a baseball field under glass; its buildings are measured by the mile; it hires hundreds of young Doctors of Philosophy to give rapid instruction in Sanskrit, navigation, accountancy, spectacle-fitting, sanitary engineering, Provencal poetry, tariff schedules, rutabaga-growing, motor-car designing, the history of Voronezh, the style of Matthew Arnold, the diagnosis of myohypertrophia kymoparalytica, and departmentstore advertising.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • When he finds people chattering harmlessly about Anatole France and Nietzsche, he devastates them with Matthew Arnold, the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, and even Macaulay; and as he is devoutly religious at bottom, he first leads the unwary, by humorous irreverences, to wave popular theology out of account in discussing moral questions with him, and then scatters them in confusion by demanding whether the carrying out of his ideals of conduct was not the manifest object of Godů
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • Carlyle and Ruskin, Tennyson, Browning, G. F. Watts, E. B. Jones, Dickens, Thackeray, they were hurried into the flames; Mr. Gladstone, John Bright, and Cobden; there was a moment’s discussion about George Meredith, but Matthew Arnold and Emerson were given up cheerfully.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • Both are masked with Matthew Arnold’s face.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • This from the Requiescat of Matthew Arnold, an elegy for a woman’s spirit, with its concluding line: "Tonight it doth inherit the vasty hall of Death."
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Like Homer, he is moderate in his use of metaphor and, in place of lyric speed, aims to reproduce a style that is, to cite Matthew Arnold’s oft-approved adjectives, rapid, plain, direct in vocabulary and syntax, and noble.27 Those who are familiar with Homer’s Greek may prefer translations that try, like Lattimore’s, to preserve many of the repeated lines and phrases in its English.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • "Well, Frank Buckland was Matthew Arnold’s father’s sister’s husband’s brother’s son, therefore, they were almost kin.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • Matthew Arnold in his essay on Emerson says: "As Wordsworth’s poetry is, in my judgment, the most important work done in verse in our language during the present century, so Emerson’s ’Essays’ are, I think, the most important work done in prose.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson  --  Selected Essays
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Associated words [difficulty]:   Matthew Arnold [8] , John Keats [4] , Alexander Pope [7] , Dylan Thomas [7] , Percy Bysshe Shelley [7] , William Blake [7] , Lord Byron [8] , Robert Browning [8] , Tennyson [8] , Elizabeth Barrett Browning [9] , William Wordsworth [9]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Philosophy, Religion & Spirtuality, Religion - Christianity
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