What occurs in lines 9-12 of "Richard Cory"?

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The poem is narrated by the poor townsfolk who admire and envy Richard Cory when he walks by them on the street. In the first three stanzas of the poem, the townsfolk reflect on Richard Cory's clean-cut, regal appearance and refer to him as a "gentleman from sole to crown." Richard Cory does not only have appealing looks but is also a friendly person, who speaks to the poorer townsfolk whenever he sees them. The third stanza is comprised of lines nine through twelve, where the townsfolk compare Richard Cory's wealth to that of a king and praise his graceful, revered persona. In line twelve, the townsfolk mention that they would gladly trade places with Richard Cory. Their comments are significant and ironic after the fourth stanza is read. The townsfolk who wish to trade places with Richard Cory in line twelve are unaware that he has serious emotional issues that influence him to commit suicide. Overall, the third stanza is significant to the plot of the poem because it creates irony and emphasizes Robinson's message regarding the complex relationship between appearance and reality.

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