Matthew Arnold: Late Victorian English Poet and Critic free essay sample
This paper discuses Matthew Arnold’s critical analysis of English culture and the English nation during late the Victorian period.
The author states the late Victorian period in England was a unique time in that country’s literary history. Both literature and the political culture supported one another by different notions of England’s future. Matthew Arnold addressed directly issues of the purpose of English culture and the English nation.
Matthew Arnold was a conservative writer in the sense that he was not egalitarian. He feared an intrusion of vulgarity into the culture and of Philistine populism. (Wilson xvii; xvii) But his ideas were more complex than that. Arnold did believe that the essential thrust of English development should not be so much to expand its physical boundaries, but to create a culture of, as he termed it, Sweetness and Light.