What literary devices are used in "Richard Cory"?

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A few of the word choices Robinson makes in the first stanza work, metaphorically, to compare Richard Cory to a king. The speaker says that Cory is a "gentleman from sole to crown" (line 3) and that he is "imperially slim" (4). Although the word crown can refer to the...

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top of the head, which makes sense in this context, it can also refer to the object a king wears on his head. This might not be significant on its own, but when we see the wordimperially on the next line—a word that refers to an attitude that befits or is suggestive of an emperor—the choice of crown, with its two meanings, seems intentional. (The speaker even calls Cory "richer than a king" in line 9.) Connecting these word choices, we gather that Richard Cory is being compared to someone of royal status, in the first stanza, via a metaphor.

In the second stanza, the speaker says that Cory "glittered when he walked" (8). This is another metaphor. A person does not really glitter, and so we can ascertain that he is being compared to something that does: perhaps a diamond or some other valuable, sparkling object. I think of a diamond or another precious gem, in particular, because they are often said to "glitter" and can be found in crowns as well.

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The primary literary device at work in the poem is the situational irony that is realized in its conclusion. How ironic that Richard Cory, the one man in town who seemed to have everything necessary for happiness and the one man who was envied above all others, is the one who takes his own life in a shocking and violent way.

Another literary device employed is that of hyperbole: Cory is so well dressed and attractive, he "glitters" when he walks in town. Metaphor is found in the first two lines of the final stanza:

So on we worked, and waited for the light,

     And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;

The "light" for which the common people wait could be interpreted as relief from poverty. Going "without the meat" metaphorically means doing without the better things in life, those things that poor people in the town cannot enjoy. Cursing "the bread" is a metaphor for their resentment, for being discontented with their poverty.

Finally, the poem employs a first-person narrator who is one of the poor in the town who admires Cory, and there is a strong contrast in the last two lines between the "calm summer night" and Cory's violent death as he "put a bullet through his head."

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What poetic devices are used in "Richard Cory"?

"Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a narrative poem. It uses a first-person plural narrator that represents the voice of the people in the town. This sort of narrator is similar to the chorus of Greek tragedy, representing a sort of normative viewpoint.

The poem is written in stanza form. It consists of four open quatrains and uses end rhymes following the pattern ABAB. The rhymes are full rhymes on stressed syllables, rather than feminine or slant rhymes.

The primary meter of the poem is iambic pentameter. This means that each line consists of five iambic feet. An iamb is a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. There are several metrical variations in the poem, including spondaic and anapestic substitutions.

The poem also uses figures of speech. One such figure is metaphor, which means an implicit comparison not using explicit comparative terms such as "like" or "as." Another figure of speech used in the poem is hyperbole or exaggeration. An example of this is "richer than a king." Another figurative device is anaphora, or repetition of initial words, as can be seen in the use of the word "And" at the start of several lines. This, accompanied by parallel syntactic structures ("And he was...And he was..."), is an example of parallelism as well.

The poem also uses alliteration or repetition of consonant sounds, as can be seen in the lines "we worked, and waited for the light, / And went without."

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What poetic devices are used in "Richard Cory"?

Anaphora: 

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;...
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
The repetition of the word "and" heightens our involvement with the character of Richard Cory. He is the center of the poem and the use of anaphora focuses our attention upon him and his characteristics. This is especially important as it lulls us into a false sense of security which makes the twist ending all the more effective.
Alliteration:
We people on the pavement...
Alliteration draws attention to itself, so is a useful device for emphasizing a specific point. Here, the author contrasts the mere mortals of the town with this polite, dashing gentleman. And again:
So on we worked, and waited for the light...
Once more, alliteration is being used to emphasize the difference between Richard Cory and the common townsfolk, a difference that will be summarily obliterated in the final stanza. Everything is leading up to a surprise ending.
Assonance:
But still he fluttered pulses...
In case we didn't already know, Richard Cory is a most singular individual. The use of the 'u' sound is important here. It gives the impression almost of a swoon, which is particularly appropriate as the ordinary folk of the town clearly regard him as a breed apart.
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
Same literary device; same purpose; different vowel sound. The 'i' sound has a certain degree of insistence about it. Richard Cory's wealth is an important element in what sets him apart and the repetition of the 'i' vowel concentrates our attention upon his enormous wealth.
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What poetic devices are used in "Richard Cory"?

The poetic devices used in "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson include sound devices, repetition devices, rhyme, and rhythm.

The sound devices that stand out are alliteration and consonance. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds. The predominant initial consonant throughout the poem is /w/. Phrases with words in close proximity that start with /w/ are "whenever Richard Cory went down town" and "still we worked and waited for the light." The repetition of the /w/ sound can evoke the feeling of questioning (what? or why?) or a wail of sorrow or complaint. Another use of alliteration is "we people on the pavement," which repeats the /p/ sound. Consonance, repetition of internal or end consonant sounds, occurs in the words "fluttered" and "glittered." These are light sounding words, adding a sense of grace and ease to the description of Richard Cory.

Anaphora is the technique of repeating the same words at the beginning of successive clauses. We see this used in lines 5 and 6: "And he was always." Other lines also start with "and he" or simply "and." This technique binds the poem together and also gives the feeling that it is being narrated by someone close to the situation speaking in his own words. It also creates a monotony that makes the abrupt ending more surprising.

The poem has a formal rhyme scheme and rhythm. It is written in consistent iambic pentameter, meaning each line consists of ten syllables of alternating unaccented and accented stresses. The effect of this is to make the poem very steady and predictable, making the surprise ending come as more of a shock because the reader has been lulled by the very consistent and regular rhythm. Nothing in the words or their sounds has suggested  that something sudden or violent is going to occur, so the steadiness of the rhythm and meter, along with the regular abab rhyme scheme, forms a  stark, ironic contrast to the surprising ending. 

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

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 through his head" creates situational irony. Irony is created when what we expect to happen is different from what actually happens, and we would likely not expect a regal person like Richard Cory, a person who seems to have it all, to take his own life. It is this irony that emphasizes one of the poem's main themes: that we never know what another person is going through or what is going on their heads.

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

There are a number of different poetic devices at work in “Richard Cory." This poem uses alliteration, repetition, and vivid imagery to portray this royal-seeming yet depressed man.

Alliteration is used often in the poem. Phrases like “people on the pavement," “we went without," and “we worked, and waited” show repetitive beginning sounds. This is used to show the strict regimen and routine adopted by the individuals in the story, which is abruptly changed by the titular character’s suicide.

Repetition is also used in the story, especially in the second stanza, as the collective speaker repeats the phrase “and he was always” when describing Cory’s being and actions. This serves to give continuity and reinforce these ideas of Cory, making the audience believe they truly know this man.

Finally, vivid imagery is used to great effect. Richard Cory is compared to royalty—the speaker calls his head his “crown" and claims that he barely seems human.

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

Aside from what other educators have offered on the subject of Robinson's techniques, there is enjambment and use of "we" and "the" in unexpected ways.

Enjambment occurs when a poet continues a sentence without pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.  As line eleven moves to line twelve, Robinson uses no period, comma, em dash, semi-colon or colon to mark a stop or pause. Lines eleven and twelve are the only truly enjambed lines in the poem. 

Robinson makes an unusual choice in having his speaker use "we" as a collective voice that describes Richard Cory and the action of the poem.

In the poem's fourth and final stanza, Robinson uses the particularizing, definite article "the" to modify the light, the meat, and the bread. "The" is the only definite article in the English language, and it is often used to describe something the writer knows the reader is intimately familiar with. Since poetry is essentially condensed language, Robinson's use of the definite article must be deliberate.

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

Richard Cory uses several different types of literary devices.

First, and most obviously, it uses rhyme and meter. The meter is somewhat irregular iambic pentameter. The poem is shaped into four-line stanzas (quatrains) rhymed ABAB; the rhymes are regular masculine rhymes.

Another literary device the poem uses is repetition, such as the repetition of the phrase "And he was always", giving a sense of the regularity of Cory's habits. 

Another device used in several places in the poem is hyperbole, or exaggeration, such as the description of Cory as richer than a king. This shows that the town emphasized the differences between him and the rest of the townspeople when thinking or talking about him.

There are several instances of alliteration in the poem, for example the repetitions of the initial "w" sounds in the first two lines of the final stanza. 

The poem also uses metaphor in several places, for example in describing Cory as glittering when he walked. 

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

The poem "Richard Cory," by Edwin Arlington Robinson, contains many different poetic devices.

1. Assonance- Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound within a line of poetry. The first line of the poem contains assonance. In the phrase "down town," the vowel sound "ow" is repeated.

2. Alliteration- Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound within a line of poetry. The second line of the poem contains an example of alliteration when the words "people" and "pavement" are used. Given that the "p" sound is repeated, and this is a consonant, this shows alliteration.

3. Repetition- Repetition is the repeating of a word or phrase in order to give emphasis to the words repeated. Both lines five and six begin in the same way: "and he was always."

4. Hyperbole- A hyperbole is a figure of speech which is used as an exaggeration not meant to be taken literally. In line eight the phrase "he glittered when he walked" is an example of a hyperbole. Readers are not expected to believe that Cory actually glittered when he walked; instead, it is meant to provide a specific image for the reader.

5. Imagery- Imagery provides a description of something which creates a vivid image for the reader. The image of glittering when Cory walked paints a very distinct image for a reader.

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