... rhyme scheme is suggestive of the meaning behind the poem-that you cannot know what somebody is like inside just from the outer appearances. The rhythm of the stanzas, as well as the light tone that the poem starts in, are not at all foretelling of what is to come in the last stanza, unless if one employs irony and listens to the foreboding that this poem seems too light to be taken at face value. Thus the rhythm of the poem-regular, perfect grammatical stanzas, and the rhyme scheme which follows in an orderly way, seem to show the outside perfection of Richard Cory's life. However, only the last two stanzas give away (what goes on in) his inner life, and this is in sharp contrast to the outside appearances, in fact, completely contrary to the seeming perfection.
The second stanza describes Richard Cory's behavior in a social sense, and more of his effect upon other people. The third stanza describes his social standing and his position, and we see him as a very wealthy man. But he is also "schooled in every grace", which makes him somewhat of a hero figure, as he is not only rich and handsome, but also of a fine mind and fine manners.
Thus up to the end of the third stanza, what we as readers are offered is this description of Richard Cory, in which we see him as a bright character, and almost like a model citizen in a way. ...
This is also a general opinion of other townspeople of him.
So up to this point the poem's beauty seems to be in perfectly lined up, almost symmetrical sentences, told in a style that is almost classical in its simplicity and elegance. The focus is on detail in the description of this character. Thus we see elegant expressions such as "imperially slim", "quietly arrayed", and further-"he was always human when he talked". Finally, at the end of third stanza, Robinson concludes the detailed true-to-life description by saying: "In fine, we thought that he was everything/ To make us wish that we were in his place". Note that he says: "[W]e thought", and not another verb of more certainty such as "we knew" for example. It is still not obvious to the reader that a tragedy will follow, but the choice of verb here underlines the fact that appearances do not have to be true to what is going inside of a person.
The last stanza suddenly gives us more insight into the socio-economic position of the narrator, as well as the other townspeople: "So on we worked, and waited for the light,/ And went without the meat, and cursed the bread". Thus it is now established that the narrator, as well as most of the townspeople, are poor, in contrast to the wealthy and successful Richard Cory. Finally, the poem ends: " And Richard Cory, one quiet summer night,/ Went home and put a bullet through his head." Note the perfectly grammatical, symmetrical sentences in this stanza, and the orderly rhyme scheme-ghgh. The perfect symmetry of this poem is ironic in contrast to the internal chaos that is shown through Richard Cory's sudden suicide.
However, there is not much emotion shown from the narrator with regards to Richard Cory's