Introduction to Literature
March 26, 2015
An Extended Metaphor:
Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
In Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”, it explores the aspects of human
decisions and choices, corresponding to an oxymoron because choices that impacts so little
should bear the most indifference, but instead it is the most complicated. It is shown through
several different techniques such as metaphors, symbolism, repetition, and his writing style.
Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco but soon moved to
Pennsylvania (Robert). His dad died when he was around the age of eleven years old. Frost
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“The Road Not Taken” consist of four stanzas with five lines and eight to ten syllables.
It has a rhyme scheme of ABAAB. The ending rhyme word for each line is masculine. For
example, “wood”, “stood”, and “could” in the first stanza. The masculine end rhymes goes
throughout the entire poem. Consonance and assonance are used throughout as shown in
the third stanza and last stanza: “Yet knowing how way leads on to way” and “And that has
made all the differences” (Frost). Repetition is also shown. The word “and” starts out lines 24,
7, 11, and 20. In line 17, it states “Somewhere ages and ages hence” which includes
repetition. Just like a song, this poem has rhythm. It has an iambic tetrameter base which
includes a quiet syllable before a loud syllable.
There are a lot of symbolism and metaphors that are illustrated in “The Road Not
Taken.” The title is a symbolizes that there is no right path but the road chosen and the one
not chosen. Throughout this poem, the paths/roads are a metaphor for the different choices