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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Aside from the very clear use of rhyme, "Fire and Ice" seems rather formless. But there's a lot going on in those nine lines. In his early career, Frost stuck to more traditional forms, like rhymin...

Speaker

The speaker is the scales of justice, but unlike justice, he doesn't seem to be blind. We're talking about the classical image of justice as a blindfolded woman holding up a scale that symbolizes t...

Setting

There isn't much of what you'd call a conventional setting in this poem, unless you consider the vague concept of "Apocalypse" (or the end of the world) to be a setting. But every poem has a settin...

Sound Check

As we noted in "Form and Meter," the sound of the poem is structured around the repetition of the syllables "ire" and "ice." The poem swings back and forth between these rhymes to mimic the speaker...

What's Up With the Title?

The title is a straightforward clue to what the poem is about. But, when you think about it, "Fire or Ice" might have been a more obvious title, considering that the poem describes an argument over...

Calling Card

Many of Frost's poems give an air of total simplicity, as if you always know exactly what he's talking about. This, of course, is an illusion. The more we at Shmoop read Frost, the more we realize...

Tough-O-Meter

This poem is often taught to students who are new to poetry because it provides a crash course in symbolism and rhyme. You could spend hours puzzling over what the symbols mean, but you'll probably...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

There are references to sex in this poem, but we're still going to give it a "PG" because the topic is never made explicit. But we all know what kind of "desire" Frost is talking about.
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