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Robert Frost - the Road Not Taken

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The Road Never To Be Known

While Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” can be read at face value, when analyzed at a deeper level, underlying themes appear just below the surface of this seemingly playful piece. He is so nonchalant that it takes keen perception to find the theme within his words. He states, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” but, he is not talking simply about roads; they are metaphoric for choices one must make during life. In this poem, Frost utilizes tactics such as the title, symbolism, allegory, rhyme, and rhythm to convey his message. Frost writes to express his outlook upon physical decisions that ultimately dictate the inner emotions in the extent of one’s life.

Robert Frost blithely speaks of his travels through the woods:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

He utilizes rhyme and rhythm to give the poem a feeling of warmth and light-heartedness. He also utilizes meter by composing four stanzas of five lines each. Each stanza is formed using meter with matching end rhyme adhering to ABAAB form. This works to Frost’s advantage and was an obvious predetermined format for the reader’s ease. With these tactics, Frost incorporates a musical flow to his words, making the reader feel comfortable while serious issues loom within.

The first line of the poem ends with the symbol of a “yellow wood.” This gives feelings of seasonal change as trees turn yellow in autumn. Frost utilized allegory within the setting of change, the predicament of choice, and in order to give everything he writes deeper meaning. Frost looks down one path to see the outcome, but it bends into the undergrowth; meaning one cannot always choose knowing the consequences of their choice but tries his best option.

Frost also personifies the path as, “wanting wear” like he was pulled to choose based upon initial appearance. He admits the paths, “Had worn really about the same.” Frost was conveying that one should not be fooled by first impressions when deciding something and things are not always what they initially seem. Also, one will realize the consequence of his choice only after it is made.

Dramatic irony lay within the allegory of these lines:

“And both that morning equally lay

In leaves not step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.”

These last two lines simply interpreted mean he

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