The Road Not Taken Explication Stanzas 1 and 2: It is evident that the scene in the poem takes place during an autumn setting which is implied when line 1 it states, “TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood”. The “yellow wood” simply means that the leaves are changing colour; therefore, it is autumn. Frost also portrays the narrator as observant and cautious speaking with an almost regretful tone. This can be seen in line 2 where he says “And sorry I could not take both”, the narrator’s observant behaviour is also evident in line 3 and 4 when he says, “And looked down one as far as I could/To where it bent in the undergrowth;”.
The road that branches off in two different ways gives the narrator a difficult time with choosing which way to go and this adds confusion and uncertainty in the atmosphere as well as a calm and reflective mood. In stanza 2, it describes the physical appearance of the two paths stating that neither best the other; “Then took the other, as just as fair,/… Had worn them really about the same,”. The diction also amplifies the idea of equality within both roads; words include “fair” and “same”.
The road is also describe to be well worn meaning that many people have passed by facing the same situation and seemed to have chosen the two paths equally as well. The path is likely to be a symbol of the different choices that a person must make and while both are equal and alike in many ways, it remains a concern to whoever the decision maker is due to the possibility of choosing the worse of the two. Stanzas 3 and 4: More information on the setting has been stated, it’s an autumn morning in a forest with a lot of yellow leaves on the ground.
In line 13, “In leaves no step had trodden black. ”, it means that the narrator is alone. The narrator later says that once he has picked his path, he can no longer go back. The roads have now become a symbol of pivotal moments in which the narrator has only one chance to make a decision. This adds tension to the atmosphere because, although there is no time frame, the narrator is still force, by his conscience, to pick a path which, in turn, takes away his ability to pick the other path.
Lastly in stanza 4, the narrator decides to pick one road deeming it the different one because, even though both roads were the same, what makes them different is that one has been chosen by him to walk on. Overall, this poem shares mostly the emotion of regret due to the fact that regardless of how joyful the narrator is of picking one road, there is still “what if” hanging in the back of both the narrator and the readers mind.
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