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Being considered one of the most recognizable poets within American poetry Robert Frost offers the rhetorical question in his work “The Road Not Taken” (Poets.org). If I were asked about what the poem is about, I would reply in several words it is about life, choice, and regret. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” speaks both about the inevitability of choices in our lives and their consequences, which are most typically revealed in regret and justifications as a way of self-deception, which represents the second hidden meaning of the poem analyzed.

Being published in 1915 for the first time “The Road Not Taken” does not lose its topicality due to its philosophical motives. In the same way as the questions of right and wrong, Frost’s work highlights the problem of choice that appears in everyone’s life. It slightly resembled me the Russian folktales where the image of a three-way crossroads constantly appears before the main character. Unlike the above-mentioned Russian folktales, the first image that appears in the poem is two roads diverged in a yellow wood. The set archetypal dilemma is an old metaphor for the lifeline. I must admit that the mood set at the beginning is not a deterrent, on the contrary, it is warm and pleasant. Despite this fact, the first stanza contains a regretful mood as well. The first challenge that appears before the narrator described in the poetry is the choice, he has to make in favor of one of the diverged roads. The narrator’s regrets are connected with the lack of possibility to travel.

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Although the topic chosen by the author may seem simple and trivial There is much more behind the lines of this poem since it is considered to have a significant role in world culture and specifically in American literature because the signature phrases became viral and constantly appears in advertisements and commercials. Having the obvious meaning of “crying over what might have been” it suddenly turns to have a twofold meaning, or rather to have the second hidden explication that is not always found by the audience. Being compared to the wolf in sheep’s clothing the poetry carries two concepts. The first concept that lies above is the one, about choice and regret. The second concept is about justification that people find as a way of self-deception. The attentive reader would notice the words that prove the similarity of the two diverged roads: about the same, equally lay in leaves. Finally, the two last lines of the poem emphasize that the only difference that is made but the narrator is that he had chosen one instead of another. The interesting fact I noticed was in the line I took the one less traveled by, which was also very tricky. According to herd behavior, most people would choose a more mainstream option which is the road that would be more traveled in the poem which is contrary to the narrator’s choice. This could mean either self-confidence and seeking more difficult challenges that might appear on a less traveled road or the contrary indicate the uniqueness of the narrator’s personality and the choices he makes.

According to the form “The Road Not Taken” has an ABAAB rhyme scheme. It is rich in literary devices such as metaphors yellow woods, etc. the main of which is the one of road that stands for the metaphor of life; imagery in the description of the location; simile as just as fair; assonance of a and o sounds and consonance of d and t sounds; personification of the road; parallelisms. Due to the choice of the above-mentioned literary devices, the author managed to create a fairy-tale atmosphere, yet input the ambiguity in the meaning and interpretation of the work. Also, he made it tunefulness and memorability. Except for the literary device, the use of punctuation symbols is not less important. It gives a sense of solemnity to the poem despite its lightness in form.

To sum up, despite the serious and tricky nature of the poem “The Road Not Taken”, the dilemma of choice in life remains a real problem that traces back to ancient times and as it is revealed within various artworks it always has the corresponding consequences. In this sense the author’s regret about the impossibility of taking both roads and not facing the necessary choice becomes clear. Finally, since it is a personal explication it might be different depending on the reader’s background and knowledge. I would say that this is a very philosophical, twofold in meaning, and well-written artwork that due to its literary form is easily perceived and understood.

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