forms of alliteration in Richard cory?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound in a line of poetry.  In the poem "Richard Cory", many examples of alliteration exist.  For example, the first stanza contains the very first line  "whenever and went" and the second line has "people and pavement."  Stanza two line two has" he, human, he" in line two and line four has "when and walked".  Stanza three has line four "we were" while stanza four has line one "we worked, and waited" and line four "home and head".  One of the questions you want to ask is why did Robinson use so much alliteration along with the rhyming in the poem?  What does alliteration add to the meaning and the rhythm of the poem?  These poetic devices serve a purpose and in this case, alliteration adds to the "everything is fine" idea of Richard Cory who was a big man in town until you reach the shocking last line.  The reader is set up to think of Richard Cory as a man to be envied until you reach the conclusive last line.