Irony In Richard Cory, By Edwin Arlington Robinson

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Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem, “Richard Cory,” is brimming with irony. The brilliant use of situational irony takes the seemingly perfect life of Richard Cory and surprises us all once we reach the last line of Robinson’s poem. In fact, this poem seems eerily similar to Robin Williams’ situation. Richard Cory and Robin Williams both appeared to have their lives together; both rich, always smiling and making other happy, and were both held to higher standards. However, much like Richard Cory, Robin Williams’ end was not at all what we expected. Richard Cory and Williams were both undoubtedly wealthy. Williams being an actor and comedian provided him with a life free of financial woe. The line, “And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--,” …show more content…
By saying that Richard Cory was “a gentleman from sole to crown,” Robinson gives his readers the understanding that he was the societal standard of normal. He was always “quietly arrayed” and was polite to everyone he met, which could imply that he was presenting a mask in order to hide his true emotions. Robin Williams was this way as well, saying, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” What Williams says here can be seen throughout the poem in Richard Cory’s character when he says good morning or where he is described as “always being human when he talked.” He doesn’t want anyone to know he is sad, perhaps he does not know himself. However, despite being sad, both of these men go out of their way to make others …show more content…
One of the most common effects is being revered. The people observing Richard Cory in Robinson’s poem seem to symbolically put Cory on a pedestal in the line, “We people on the pavement look at him.” This line poses the question of where Cory is if he isn’t on the pavement with everyone else. The people looking at Cory could symbolically be putting him on a pedestal and looking up to him. Also, “In fine, we thought he was everything/To make us wish that we were in his place,” directly tells us that Cory was envied by several people. Williams, as fame often entails, had several million fans who adored him and envied him. But with this fame or admiralty, comes a certain pressure to continue to be this perfect image of happiness and composition. Which can be tiresome to the point where one cannot deal with the pain of masking their true emotions any

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