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Commentary on the poem The Road Not Taken written by Robert Frost.

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Introduction

The poem 'The Road Not Taken' is written by Robert Frost. Known to be a nature poet, Frost's poems use nature to convey universal messages. Written in first person, the poem addresses the themes of Choice and its Regrets. We make choices throughout our lives, some change our lives for the better whereas some for the worse. Set during the season of autumn, the traveller is walking down the woods and is faced with a choice between two paths. Every aspect of both paths were identical, there was no differentiating factor. This can be inferred from phrases such as 'just as fair', 'equally lay' and 'about the same'. If there was a distinguishing factor then one road would have become more attractive than the other. As the poem unfolds, the traveller is shown to have taken the path 'less travelled by'. It can be termed a courageous decision as the traveller tread on a path which very few have treaded on. This can be inferred from '...and wanted wear', this illustrates that the road was less travelled by and needed someone to trod on it. ...read more.

Middle

We like many things in life, but at a point in time we need to forgo one. 'Oh, I kept the first for another day!' , we decide upon one and think that we will take the second later in life but this does not happen. Time does not stop, it keeps on moving and 'the choice not made' has been lost forever. The exclamation mark highlights the misconception people hold and how it is impossible to move back in time. Man is an insatiable being, he wants everything and anything. We are happy with the choice made but still regret the missed opportunity. Each choice opens up many doors and together they shape our life. If they changed our life for the bad we 'sigh' about them and if for the better we appreciate them. Our choices shape our lives. Written in 4 stanzas of 5 lines each, the poem has a systematic rhyme scheme and rhythm. The rhyme scheme for the poem is 'ABAAB....'. The first 3 stanzas of the poem talks of the choices and decisions whereas the 4th stanza portrays how long after the choices have been made, one sits and reflects upon his decisions. ...read more.

Conclusion

By such a title it is made clear that the poet is lamenting and regretting about his missed opportunity. Frost makes use of repetition in the poem. The line 'Two roads diverged in a wood' is repeated twice in the poem, emphasizing on the aspect that we need to make choice after choice. It's not that we make one choice and that's the end of it all. One makes a choice and thereafter life moves on. 'The Road Not Taken' is similar to his poem 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'. In both these poems, Robert Frost explores the themes of choice and decision making. In 'The Road Not Taken', the traveller has to choose between the two paths whereas in 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening', the traveller needs to decide his priorities. There is a contrasting element between the poems as well, in 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' the traveller has no sense of regret whereas in this poem the traveller does have a sense of regret. 'The Road Not Taken', is a poem I associate with. I have encountered similar situations and have had many difficult choices to make. One needs to make these choices and move on in life. Life is what you make of it. ...read more.

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