Richard Cory Analysis

Essay by fazzsterJunior High, 9th gradeB+, March 2007

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The poem "Richard Cory" depicts how someone who seems to have everything will still be unhappy. All the poor townspeople regarded Richard Cory as a near perfect gentleman. He was a very rich man, and the townspeople believed he must have been very happy with his life. No one realized that this man was actually suffering inside. The poem leaves it up to the reader to decide what Richard Cory was suffering about, and what led up to his ultimate grief. Robinson never talks about any relationships Richard Cory has had. This hints that there were no strong relationships in his life, and that he needed a companion. At the end of the poem, Richard Cory unexpectedly shot himself. This makes the reader think about what true happiness is and what it requires. A man like Richard Cory might appear to have everything, but happiness does not come from wealth.

The townspeople never realized that you don't need wealth in order to be happy with their lives.

The poem captures Richard Cory's personality from the poor townspeople's point of view. Robinson includes tactile imagery when there are "fluttered pulses," which shows how superiorly Richard Cory is viewed. The poem has a basic "abab cdcd…" rhyme scheme, and is written in iambic pentameter throughout the whole poem. Robinson also metaphorically states "Clean favored and imperially slim," which shows how Richard Cory is compared to something imperial like an emperor. The last stanza is the darkest of them all. It shows how poor the townspeople really were when they "went without the meat and cursed the bread." The whole poem shows how the townspeople misjudged Richard Cory's feelings.