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The poem "Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost deals with the ideas of depression, shame and even contemplation of suicide. Everyone can relate to the feelings of isolation as most go through a period of such feelings themselves, to a particular extent. This poem is written in strict iambic pentameter, with the fourteen lines of a traditional sonnet. The following poetic techniques are used: symbolism and repetition The literal connotation of the first line is meaningless. Everyone is familiar with the night and everyone knows what the word represents, therefore there must be a deeper meaning behind this term. In most poems night is a symbol for death, which it does symbolize in this poem, but another metaphorical meaning to night is the speaker's depression that he is most likely ashamed of. The speaker’s apparent shame can be seen in the lines: ‘I have passed by the watchman on his beat, and dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain’. This idea of depression is seen in several lines of the poem, in particular this line refers to a time when the speaker’s depression was particularly strong: ‘I have looked down the saddest city lane’. In this poem, Robert Frost cleverly uses symbolism in order to hide the deeper meaning to the poem. ‘I have out walked the furthest city light’, shows the speakers depression, light being symbolic for hope, meaning that the speaker has gone beyond hope in his depression. The combination of this poetic technique and the cleverly hidden meaning makes the reader think deeply about each line of the poem, realizing that the literal connotation of each word is practically meaningless. The combination of symbolism and repetition is particularly noticeable throughout the whole poem. The pattern of the poem itself can be seen as a symbolic representation of the cycle of depression. The repetition of the initial rhyme draws the reader back to the beginning, in the same way that people suffering from depression seem to get trapped in a...
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