Summary of “The Road Not Taken” By Robert Frost



Stanza 1: (line 1-5):

Here the speaker is talking about a fork in the road or path. This is in a “yellow wood”. Here “yellow wood” refers to the fall and trees turning its leaves’ color. He expresses his lack or limitation that he cannot go down both being “one traveler”. He wants to go down both. But it is beyond his capacity. That’s why he tries to be quiet sure before taking one.
He looks down ‘as far as’ he could until it bends ‘in the undergrowth’.

Stanza 2: (line 6-10):

After looking down one ‘as far as’ he could, he takes grassy one. But he doesn’t sure whether it better or not. Here is a complexity. Although the optimistic readers think that the speaker takes the better path, he doesn’t say that. He mention ‘as just as fair’ not fairer. Next line though, he says ‘the better’, it is ‘perhaps the better’.
Next he says ‘it was grassy and wanted wear’. He didn’t find any difference before between the two paths. Here for the first time we find the difference. But he is not sure which one is better. Here the word ‘wanted’ means lacked and ‘the passing’ means traffic that lack of passerby. The speaker is still confused about making difference; he says ‘the same’. It seems that both paths are still same to him; he cannot make any clear difference between them.

Stanza 3: (line 11-15):

Here we also find him saying both paths are same ‘equally lay’. The setting of the poem is in the morning and the speaker is the first traffic in that fork of the yellow wood as he says ‘no step’. The speaker before said that one path is grassy and another is not but here he says that both paths are covered with leaves and ‘no steps’ is seen here. May be the leaves are not very thick or the grass stick up between them or the speaker is not quit honest. In lines 13=15 we see that he is now confirmed which path he is going to use and keeps the another one for another day. It is actually a crafty way to deal with difficulties. He wishes to come back and will try another one later. But he is confused whether it would be possible for him to come back from where he started because one way may to lead to a another fork and then another(in line 14-15)

Stanza 4: (line 16-20):

In this stanza we find talk about time ‘ages and ages’ here the line suggest that     in future the speaker will tell the next generation that he made something different(may be success) from others using ‘less travelled’ road or way. Next in line 18 we find a repetition of the first line without the word ‘yellow’ and with extra words ‘and I-’ and in the next line we find which path he has taken. These two lines are significant because they bear the main concept of the whole poem. He took the ‘less travelled’ road. And in the last line of the poem we find the outcome of his trial. He says this path make all the difference. But here again it is not clear what difference. It may be success or failure. Optimistic readers will consider this successful difference though the speaker doesn’t tell this. 

<=Text of “The Road Not Taken”

Ques. from “The Road Not Taken”=>

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