Poetry Analysis Of The Road Not Taken Essay

Essay Analysis of The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

854 Words4 Pages

In the Robert Frost poem ‘’The Road Not Taken’’ there is a pervasive and in many ways intrinsic sense of journey throughout. In such, the poem explores an aspect associated with human decision, or indecision, relative to the oxymoron, that choices with the least the difference should bear the most indifference, but realistically, carry the most difficulty. This is conveyed through the use of several pivotal techniques. Where the first such instance is the use of an extended metaphor, where the poem as a whole becomes a literary embodiment of something more, the journey of life. The second technique used is the writing style of first person. Where in using this, the reader can depict a clear train of thought from the walker and understand…show more content…

Wherein this is the extent of the metaphor, where in this poem it is a changeable anomaly subject to the readers interpretation of taking the road less travelled and whether it be a positive (sigh of satisfaction) or negative (sigh of regret). This is all one can hope when using a metaphor relating to the readers life, that they substitute their own feelings and create their own meaning, their own attitude towards to such decisions and subsequently, such journeys.

Furthermore, we have the use of first person, where the almost universal effect is to have an in-depth look into the character and their immediate response to a problem or dilemma. This poem no different, where in the first stanza we are ushered in with the use of anaphora in lines 2, 3 and 4 with the repetition of the word ‘’and’’. This specific use of anaphora is used to create the mindset and intelligible deduction of the traveller to the events and dilemma prescribed to him. Insofar as his immediate reaction be being presented with a choice. It shows his reaction of regret in that he is ‘’sorry he could not travel both’’ and explains what he wish he could do ‘’be two travellers’’ but also how he initiates his decision making process ‘’looked down one as far as I could’’. Also, the use of first person is used to connect with the reader, enforcing the affore-used notion that the reader substitutes their own personal truth into a positive

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Four stanzas, each of five lines in length (a quintrain), with a mix of iambic and anapaestic tetrameter, producing a steady rhythmical four beat first person narrative. Most common speech is a combination of iambs and anapaests, so Frost chose his lines to reflect this:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

This simple looking poem, mostly monosyllabic, has a traditional rhyme scheme of abaab which helps keep the lines tight together, whilst the use of enjambment (where one line runs into the next with no punctuation) keeps the sense flowing.

The whole poem is an extended metaphor; the road is life, and it diverges, that is, splits apart, forks. There is a decision to be made and a life will be changed. Perhaps forever.


Whilst this is a reflective, thoughtful poem, it's as if the speaker is caught in two minds. He's encountered a turning point. The situation is clear enough - take one path or the other, black or white - go ahead, do it. But life is rarely that simple. We're human, and our thinking processes are always on the go, trying to work things out. You take the high road, I'll take the low road. Which is best?

So the tone is meditative. As this person stands looking at the two options, he is weighing up the pros and cons in a quiet, studied manner. The situation demands a serious approach, for who knows what the outcome will be?

All the speaker knows is that he prefers the road less travelled, perhaps because he enjoys solitude and believes that to be important. Or he's an individualist and prefers to set his own agenda. Whatever the reason, once committed, he'll more than likely never look back?

On reflection however, taking the road because it was grassy and wanted wear has made all the difference, all the difference in the worldi


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