Essay about Richard Cory, Poetry Explication

644 Words May 10th, 2002 3 Pages
Explication of Richard Cory

The poem "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson is a poem written about the town aristocrat named Richard Cory. It is written with four quatrain stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a, b, a, b, for each stanza. The poet's use of hyperboles and regal comparisons when describing Richard Cory help to elevate him above the townspeople, and his nonchalant mentioning of Cory's suicide leaves the reader in a state of shock. The first stanza of the poem introduces Richard Cory as a respected man of town. The second line uses the words "we people", implying that the townspeople recognized themselves as being on a different level than Cory. Describing them as being "on the pavement" gives the visual imagine of
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The third stanza talks more of Cory being great, and actually compares him to a king. In line 9 Robinson uses a hyperbole in saying that Cory was "richer than a king." Lines 11 and 12 are the interesting lines in this stanza, as it tells how the townspeople "thought that he was everything" and wished "that we were in his place." It is the townspeople thinking Cory was everything and wishing they were him without actually knowing him that leads to the conclusion in stanza four. The fourth stanza holds the shocking conclusion to this poem. It begins normal enough, showing the townspeople once again being below Cory. Saying that they went without meat and "cursed the bread" literally means they could only afford bread. Line fifteen describes the night as "one calm summer night." This sets a nice tone of calmness and relaxing, which is offset by line seventeen where Richard Cory "put a bullet through his head." This poem is about a man who was so revered by the town that he was put on a pedestal of his own, but unfortunately was on that pedestal alone. Everything leading up to the last line seems fine, in fact even the second to last line still does not hint that anything is wrong. The poet does this to show that the rest of the town new nothing of who the real Richard Cory was, otherwise they would have noticed something was wrong. The message this poem gets across is that
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