Fate, Destiny and Free Will in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken

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The Road Not Taken: The Paradox of Free Will

Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken", is a profound philosophical approach illustrating the paradox of free will. In the first line, Frost uses the metaphor "Two roads diverged" (1), to establish not only the dilemma of the traveler in the poem, but life itself. The decisions we make in life, like the traveler in "The Road Not Taken", are not to be taken lightly. There is a desire to be adventurous, yet we fear possible regret for 'what might have been'. Either way, we must live with the choices we make. "The Road Not Taken" is an ambiguous poem epitomizing the complex nature of individuality.

The literal situation of "The Road Not Taken" concerns a …show more content…

A structural link is created between stanzas two, "worn them really about the same" (10), and stanza three,
"both that morning equally lay" (11). This indecision symbolizes the central idea of the poems theme. central idea of the poems theme. For a brief and exciting moment, the traveler believes he will save the road not chosen "for another day!" (13). Frost uses an exclamation mark in line 13 to illustrate the travelers attempt to justify a decision. However, knowing that "way leads to way" (14), the traveler doubts ever returning and following another road. Once the decision has been made for one crossroads, the traveler knows that there will be many more crossroads ahead. It is this realization that conceives a completely different tone for the final stanza. The traveler envisions himself in the future, telling of his day in a "yellow wood" (1) when "two roads diverged" (1), that he had to make a choice. A choice that will have "made all the difference" (20). The traveler does not foresee regret for the decision, however believes that he will be telling the story "with a sigh" (16). Frost emphasizes the changing mood of the traveler by beginning line 16 with the poems only other sentence. The figurative significance of "The Road Not Taken" is far reaching.
Although this poem is about a traveler making a decision, the relevant message Frost is trying to convey symbolizes much more. "The Road Not
Taken" is

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