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What are the poetic devices of the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost?

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utkdmrz | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted December 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM via web

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What are the poetic devices of the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 27, 2011 at 5:42 AM (Answer #1)

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There are multiple poetic devices used in Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken.

In the first line, the poet used assonance. Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound within a line of poetry. In the first line,

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

the "o" sound is repeated in "roads" and "yellow."

In the eighth line,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

the author uses personification. Personification is the giving of human characteristics to non-human/non-living things. In this line, the path wanted wear. A path cannot want. Only humans can want. This qualifies as personification.

The poem as a whole is a metaphor. A metaphor is

a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to a person, idea, or object to which it is not literally applicable.

The poet is, therefore, comparing the paths in life to the choices one must make when reaching a crossroads. The poem speaks of the actual choices in life as roads one must choose to take. Metaphorically, the roads simply represent choices in life.

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