Metthew Arnold is one of the greatest victorian poets in english literature. He has a deep love for nature. Nature plays a significant role in his poetry. In his treatment of nature, he is wordsworthian . But it will be wrong if we think that Arnold is fully wordsworthian. Like wordswords he believes in the healing power of nature. But unlike wordswoqth,he believes that there is no divine spirit in nature. Wordsworth is keatsian in his attitude to the sensuous aspects of nature. Like keats, Arnold is very much fond of the external beauty of nature. In the description of a flower or a special sensuous aspect, Arnold has surpassed even Alfred Tennyson.
Arnold follows wordsworth in describing nature and natural picture.But we must have to remember that Arnold’s attitude to nature is not exctly simila wordsworth. He is different from wordsworth who always finds good in nature. But he observes sadness and melancholy in the aspects of nature.
Arnold hears the sad music of humanity in the sea.He compares the sea to the religious faith of the victorians.
Arnold is expert in depicting a vivid picture of nature very aptly. He is a pictoral artist. His description of nature is sensuous. In this respect, he surpasses Tennyson. He knows how to draw picture with the help of words.
We find an exellent treatment of nature in the pastoral elegy, ‘The scholer gipsy.’ In this poem, Arnold has a eye for the details of the nature. He richly describes the surrounding of the charm of nature.we find a beautiful picture of natur in this poem.
Arnold paints a pastoral picture in “the scholar gipsy”. He draws a picture of a scythe flaming in sunshine. He tells us of the wide field of breezy grass where black sawllows remains glittering. The flowers refresh with dew. The nightingales sing in the dark. In this respect of the beauty of nature he is remarkably romantic. The scholar offers a store of flowers to maidens who have come to dance around the Fyfield elm.
Arnold ventures to express his philosophy to nature. He is different from Byron and shelley in the regard. Nature presents a picture of tranquility . Arnold loves nature.
Arnold is a great poet of nature but his attitude to her is not singular. He considers nature as a cruel and harsh. Again nature is a source of healing power.so Arnold is not Wordsworthian in a sense. On the other hand he supports coleridge’s view of nature.we should not forget that wordsworth is a pantheist. But Arnold is not a pentheist. He finds much goodness in nature. Yet he does not believes in the exitance of God in nature. In this respect, Arnold is on the side of coleridge.
To sum up,we can say that nature plays a dominating role in Arnold’s poetry.