Comparing Rober Frost: the Road Not Taken with the Painting by Edvard Munch Entitled Two Beings (Two Lonely Ones)

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  • Topic: Edvard Munch, The Road, Expressionism
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  • Published : May 16, 2012
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ROBERT FROST (1874-1963)
The Road Not Taken
Edvard Munch
Norwegian, 1863-1944
Two Beings (The Lonely Ones), 1899-1917
woodcut, three colors.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Aesthetic connections: painting and poetry

I have chosen the poem entitled The Road Not Taken written by Robert Frost and the picture painted by Edvard Munch which bears the title of Two Beings (Two Lonely Ones). I have selected these two masterpieces of arts as they both depict my and probably several people’s eternal question: which road to take. Even one of my favourite Hungarian folk songs is ’There are two roads in front of me, which one to take?’ The moment of making decisions is hidden in every minute of our lives though only the most important points of our decisions make us ponder what to do. What makes the decisions difficult is that we are aware of the options without knowing the one-hundred-percent certain consequences of our choices most of the time. And this makes us stop and think like a big ’stop and give way’ traffic sign in our lives as Frost wrote: „….long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth.” Although the starting point of the two artifacts is different as in the poem one traveller at a fork can be seen...
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