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THE ROAD NOT
TAKENROBERT FROST
TITLE:
• LITERAL MEANING: The poet refers to an
actual road which has not been travelled on as
much as other roads. The ro...
1. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, a
2. And sorry I could not travel both b
3. And be one traveler, long I stood a
4....
STANZA 1: LINES 1 – 5
1. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
2. And sorry I could not travel both
3. And be one traveler,...
STANZA 2: LINES 6 – 10
6. Then took the other, as just as fair,
7. And having perhaps the better claim,
8. Because it was ...
STANZA 3: LINES 11 – 15
11. And both that morning equally lay
12. In leaves no step had trodden black.
13. Oh, I kept the ...
16. I shall be telling this with a sigh
17. Somewhere ages and ages hence:
18. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
19. I ...
• The tone used and mood created is:
reflective and nostalgic.
• The poet is reflecting on (thinking about) the
decision h...
Why the road LESS travelled?
• The poet makes it clear that the path was
more attractive to him and won his approval
becau...
What is the message?
• He wants us all to realise that in life we face
many different choices – there will be options
that...
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The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

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Analysis of The Road Not Taken (Poem) by Robert Frost.
Line by line analysis of content, figures of speech, general theory and broader context.

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The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

  1. 1. THE ROAD NOT TAKENROBERT FROST
  2. 2. TITLE: • LITERAL MEANING: The poet refers to an actual road which has not been travelled on as much as other roads. The road shows less wear and tear because fewer travellers have chosen to take that road. • FIGURATIVE MEANING: The road symbolises the journey of life that all humans travel on from the day they are born.
  3. 3. 1. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, a 2. And sorry I could not travel both b 3. And be one traveler, long I stood a 4. And looked down one as far as I could a 5. To where it bent in the undergrowth; b 6. Then took the other, as just as fair, c 7. And having perhaps the better claim, d 8. Because it was grassy and wanted wear; c 9. Though as for that the passing there c 10.Had worn them really about the same, d 11. And both that morning equally lay e 12. In leaves no step had trodden black. f 13. Oh, I kept the first for another day! e 14. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, e 15. I doubted if I should ever come back. f 16. I shall be telling this with a sigh g 17. Somewhere ages and ages hence: h 18. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— g 19. I took the one less traveled by, g 20. And that has made all the difference h
  4. 4. STANZA 1: LINES 1 – 5 1. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 2. And sorry I could not travel both 3. And be one traveler, long I stood 4. And looked down one as far as I could 5. To where it bent in the undergrowth; We immediately know the speaker is faced with a choice. Diverged: Extend in different directions Yellow = indicates Autumn. The idea behind using autumn is that the year is coming to an end. A time for reflection. The speaker regrets that he cannot travel on both roads... And still remain one traveller. (He cannot split himself in two). He stayed at that spot, for a very long time... Why? He took the time to look down one road till he could see no further – it BENT AWAY due to a curve in the road. LITERAL: The speaker is on a journey somewhere and is faced with a choice of which road to take. FIGURATIVE: The journey represents LIFE and the choice relates to the choices we have to make.
  5. 5. STANZA 2: LINES 6 – 10 6. Then took the other, as just as fair, 7. And having perhaps the better claim, 8. Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 9. Though as for that the passing there 10.Had worn them really about the same, Surprisingly – after spending a lot of time looking down one path – the speaker TAKES THE OTHER... WHY? Both paths look as fair (beautiful) as each other However, the path he has chosen has the ‘better claim’ (An informal right) to him travelling on it … CONTRADICTION It was more grassed over and it was clear that very few people had taken that particular path. WANTED = Lacked. ‘There’ refers to the point at the fork in the road where many others would have stood and thought about which path to choose. This particular point would be worn down as many people would have spent time there, wondering which path to decide on. The speaker felt adventurous. He was displaying independence and individualism as he did not want to follow everyone else. He did not want to conform; instead he displayed freedom of choice.
  6. 6. STANZA 3: LINES 11 – 15 11. And both that morning equally lay 12. In leaves no step had trodden black. 13. Oh, I kept the first for another day! 14. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, 15. I doubted if I should ever come back. That morning – the paths looked the same. How is this possible? Nobody has walked on these paths this morning – the leaves are still their natural colours – not blackened, The poet's intention is to return so that he can travel along the other path some other day in the future. Is this realistic? Why? The exclamation mark emphasises the poet's regret. The speaker knows that often one path/road leads to another and another – as we move forward. Therefore… He doubts that he will ever come back to this particular spot on his journey. LITERAL & FIGURATIVE L: The actual road F: On the journey of life – we are unable to go back to the past.
  7. 7. 16. I shall be telling this with a sigh 17. Somewhere ages and ages hence: 18. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 19. I took the one less traveled by, 20. And that has made all the difference STANZA 4: LINES 16 – 20 The speaker will tell this story with a SIGH of regret. He would have loved to have travelled along the other path to see where it would take him and how it could have influenced his life. The story will be told many years hence (from this time). The speaker is imagining looking back on this moment. Situation: two roads diverged. Action: the speaker took the one less travelled by. NOTE: Repetition of I conveys his firm intention. It emphasises that this is his individual, personal decision. NOT influenced by the group. L: The speaker took the path less used. F: The speaker refers to making the ‘unpopular’ choices in life. The speaker does not regret his choice as THAT CHOICE has ‘made all the difference’ in his life. The colon indicates that the ‘story’ is about to follow.
  8. 8. • The tone used and mood created is: reflective and nostalgic. • The poet is reflecting on (thinking about) the decision he had to make and is nostalgic for the path he was unable to take. Relates to having to make decisions and looking back on the consequences of those decisions. • Nostalgia: Longing for familiar things – usually from the past. TONE AND MOOD
  9. 9. Why the road LESS travelled? • The poet makes it clear that the path was more attractive to him and won his approval because it was less worn by other travellers. The lack of other travellers makes it more appealing to him. • It appeals to his individuality and sense of independence.
  10. 10. What is the message? • He wants us all to realise that in life we face many different choices – there will be options that will be popular with a lot of people and options that people will not choose. • Once we have made a decision, our path and therefore our future has been determined. We cannot go back and change the decisions we have made.

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