Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Analysis of "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost

Original poem reprinted online here:  "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost
Originally read: August 21, 2013
More information about the Poet:  Robert Frost


The main thing to think of when entering this poem is that the construction is based on setting an argument, and then realizing that this isn't a good argument.  Parody.  Note that this poem isn't a good argument, and, in doing so, critiques the argument.

"Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice"  probably the main focus of attack -- yes, the key phrase is world ending in fire or ice.  But note the usage of "Some" not focusing on who, rather the argument itself.  

"From what I've tasted of desire / I hold with those who favor fire."  Also note that there's the implication of connection.  Desire -- end with fire (also rhyme scheme).  The lines, to me, conjure a humorous effect through the simplicity and the rhyme.

     But if it had to perish twice, 
     I think I know enough hate 
     To say that for destruction ice
     is also great
     And would suffice.

Note the usage of "it" here which could refer to the world, but also desire, and fire.  The ambiguous pronoun sets up this interpretation, but the content and tone doesn't take the subject matter seriously.  

Also note the rhyme scheme of "twice" "ice" and "suffice" in which lightens the tone.  

I think what makes me laugh is the line, "is also great" which litotes the apocalyptic situation with casual language.

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