Richard Cory, by Edwin Arlington Robinson

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A. Title: The title of this poem suggests that it is about a man, possibly a man

people like and possibly a man they do not like. From the vagueness of the title

the man could be an outcast.

B. Paraphrase: When Richard Cory goes downtown, people look at him. He was

dressed nice from head to toe, clean and very thin. He was alway quietly well-ordered and human when he talked. But he fluttered when he said, "Good morning," and glittered when he walked. He was richer than a king and very well mannered and graceful. We thought he was everything, and wanted to be him. So he worked and waited for light, didn't eat meat and hated the bread, one summer night he went home and shot himself in the head.

C: Connotations:The poem is written in quatrains ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GHGH and has an irregular rhythm to it. There is imagery in the poem when it says, "he glittered when he walked." Everyone liked Richard Cory and wanted to be him because he was so perfect, however Richard Cory was still unhappy which caused his untimely demise.

D. Attitude: The speaker in this poem is most likely a person from the town that

represents the town as a whole, a synecdoche. "We," being everyone who had

ever seen Richard Cory. The attitude of the speaker is one of possibly reverence.

The townspeople liked Richard Cory because of how he was and they were sad

to hear that he had killed himself. The attitude of the poet is that what happened

had happened and it couldn't be changed. Even though Richard Cory had

everything a man could ask for, he was still unhappy.

E. Shifts: There are no shifts in speaker throughout the poem but the attitude of

the poem takes a turn towards morbid at the end of the final quatrain when he

kills himself. The shift is important because it gets to the main point of the story.

Just because someone has everything and appears happy, does not mean that

is truly how they are.

F. Title: The title for this poem after reading it could be seen as his epitaph on his

gravestone; his name posted at the top and then a small story about his life and
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