What are the poetic devices used in the poem "Richard Cory"?

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Word choices that convey a regal or kingly connotation help to characterize Richard Cory or, at least, show readers the way that he is thought of by everyone in his town. He is described as being a gentleman from the soles of his feet to his "crown"—one way to refer to the top of his head—and he is likewise called "imperially slim." Rather than clothed, he is "arrayed," like a monarch might be. He is even said to "glitter" when he walks. Further, he is "richer than a king"—a likely example of overstatement (an exaggeration made to emphasize the truth)—and "schooled in every grace."

Words like crown, imperial, array, glitter, king, and grace are often associated with royalty. They also help to set up a series of expectations from readers, in addition to the other people who seem to know Richard Cory: like them, we expect that he must be happy, or at least contented, satisfied with his charmed life and charming self. However, the news that he simply goes home one calm night and "put[s] a bullet...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 964 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 15, 2020
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