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Analysis of Poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Robert Frost and "The Road Not Taken"

❶I didn't know the history behind the poem; thank you for sharing. Thomas would sigh over what they might have seen and done, and Frost thought this quaintly romantic.

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He also thinks that he will later realize what a large difference this choice has made in his life. Two important details suggest that the speaker believes that he will later regret having followed his chosen road: That is to say, the speaker solemnly uses the metaphor of the two roads to say one thing, while Frost humorously uses the speaker as a metaphor to say something very different.

Even in taking the second path, though, he reconsiders and sees them both as equally worn and equally covered with leaves. The speaker first grasps at small details in the landscape to help him choose the better path, then seems to have the common sense to see that the two roads are essentially equivalent, but finally allows his overanxious imagination to run away with him. Robert Frost and the Challenge of Darwin.

University of Michigan Press, New England as Poetic Landscape: Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, The Work of Knowing. Oxford University Press, The Robert Frost Handbook. Pennsylvania State University Press, A Literary Life Reconsidered.

Thompson, Lawrance Roger, and R. Search The Road Not Taken. This simple looking poem, mostly monosyllabic, has a traditional rhyme scheme of ABAAB which helps keep the lines tight, 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.

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. So, the tone is meditative. As this person stands looking at the two options, he is weighing 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. 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 world. Other poetic devices include the rhythm in which he wrote the poem, but these aspects are covered in the section on structure.

Frost uses the road as a metaphor for life: Then, the poet reaches a fork in the road. The fork is a metaphor for a life-altering choice in which a compromise is not possible. The traveler must go one way, or the other.

The descriptions of each road one bends under the undergrowth, and the other is "just as fair" indicates to the reader that, when making a life-altering decision, it is impossible to see where that decision will lead.

At the moment of decision-making, both roads present themselves equally, thus the choice of which to go down is, essentially, a toss up—a game of chance. The metaphor is activated. Life offers two choices, both are valid but the outcomes could be vastly different, existentially speaking. Which road to take? The speaker is in two minds. He wants to travel both, and is "sorry" he cannot, but this is physically impossible. Literally, "The Road Not Taken" tells the story of a man who reaches a fork in the road, and randomly chooses to take one and not the other.

The road, itself, symbolizes the journey of life, and the image of a road forking off into two paths symbolizes a choice. As for color, Frost describes the forest as a "yellow wood. This sets the mood of indecision that characterizes the language of the poem.

Clearly, this is to emphasize that both roads appeared untouched, not having been tarnished by the foot of a previous traveler. The poet is the first to encounter this dilemma. The point of view is of the traveler, who, walking along a single path, encounters a fork in the road and stops to contemplate which path he should follow. The first road is described as bending into the undergrowth. The second road is described as "just as fair," though it was "grassy and wanted wear. So, again, the roads are equalized.

Yet, as if to confuse the reader, Frost writes in the final stanza:. With that, we are left to wonder how Frost knew the road he took was the one less traveled by. But Frost likely left this ambiguity on purpose so that the reader would not focus so much on condition of the road, and, instead, focus on the fact that he chose a road any road, whether it was that which was less traveled by or not , and that, as a result, he has seen a change in his life.

To comment on this article, you must sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Appreciate the visit and comment. Frost, formal and full of mischief, giving the reader so many choices. My English Literature teacher gave a different interpretation.

His interpretation is both roads are fundamentally the same. When he is older he will lie to young people about how his choice of the hard road made a significant difference when the choice was irrelevant. Such an interpretation makes it an amusing poem. Yes, Frost is a great poet of traditional form and often leaves us wanting more.

Juicy pickings his lines are full of Thanks always for your good work, appreciate your detailed analyses. Frost is such a beacon. Some poetry can be helpful to us in our real lives, as a guide and comfort, as a catalyst. The Road Not Taken is a classic of form and content. Lately, I've been reviewing my own life and the choices I've made. I've, consistently taken "the road less traveled". Sometimes, it seems, that life and circumstances left me little choice. This poem, as well as other poems you've chosen to analyze, speak directly to me.

I'm sure most people would say the same. Words are open to interpretation. That's very interesting that he wrote it based on his walks with a friend. I didn't know the history behind the poem; thank you for sharing. One does wonder at times, on life's journey, what taking a different road might have led to.

However, I personally have found that you can't spend too much time dwelling on that, because life moves forward, not backwards. As the expression goes: Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Most common speech is a combination of iambs and anapaests, so Frost chose his lines to reflect this: Two roads di verged in a yell ow wood , And sor ry I could not tra vel both This simple looking poem, mostly monosyllabic, has a traditional rhyme scheme of ABAAB which helps keep the lines tight, whilst the use of enjambment where one line runs into the next with no punctuation keeps the sense flowing.

Frost also mentions the color black in the lines: And both the morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no steps had trodden black. Yet, as if to confuse the reader, Frost writes in the final stanza: I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Please read the analysis in my article.


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The poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost states that in life we come upon many decisions, and there are points where we have to let fate take the lead. “The Road Not Taken” uses two paths as a symbol of a life decision. To understand this poem you have to have understanding of life’s meaning.

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- The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost In Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," (reprinted in Laurence Perrine and Thomas R. Arp, Sound and Senses, 8th ed. [San Diego: Harcourt, ] 23) the speaker stands in the woods, considering a fork in the road. Both ways are equally worn, and equally overlaid with un-trodden leaves.

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The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Essay Words | 3 Pages. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost In Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," (reprinted in Laurence Perrine and Thomas R. Arp, Sound and Senses, 8th ed. [San Diego: Harcourt, ] 23) the speaker stands in the woods, considering a fork in the road. After reading “The Road Not Taken” we came to realize that life is a combination between decisions and fate. The authors tone in this poem played a big role in helping us understand the poem’s theme. Frost’s tone in the poem is both contemplative and indecisive, but there is a change towards the end.

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An Analysis of Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken Essay - An Analysis of Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken In "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost, many questions arose about the meaning of the poem. Critical essay for “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood.