Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Analysis

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“Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas is written with an air of personal urgency, explained to us in the final stanza when we discover the poem is written to Thomas’s father, who was turning blind and moving towards death. Thomas’s personal investment makes the poem a passionate one, full of imperatives urging his dying father to cling to life with all his remaining might. Written in villanelle, an intricate form with meticulous stanza and rhyme requirements, the form is a stark contrast to the message conveyed in the poem. The regular and controlled form would usually evoke a feeling of steadiness and sureness, yet this poem is anything but. Thomas manages to keep almost all aspects of the structure very neat, while gradually building the poem and keeping the focus on the zealous and…show more content…
He also uses fiery, impassioned language such as ‘burn’ or ‘blaze’ to describe scenes such as the sun travelling across the sky towards sun set, or a meteor burning out, to symbolise the ultimate demise. His frustration is palpable, and the reader can imagine the desperation he would have felt through the repetition of ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’ at the end of all but one of the stanzas. Thomas wants nothing more than for his father to defy death, which although he recognizes is inevitable (‘wise men at their end know dark is right’), he maintains that perhaps his father has more to offer the world, or should not die before he has made his mark. He emphasises the brevity of life, with the use of the metaphor of the ‘sun in flight”, and yearns for men to be able to dance and flourish for longer in the ‘green bay’ of life. Thomas uses very clever language in the poem, such as the paronomasia where he refers to ‘grave men, near death’. This could be taken to mean that the men are very serious, or insinuating their impending
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