What Does The Poem Do Not Go Gentle Mean

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Dylan Thomas’ famous poem ‘Do not go Gentle’ was written in 1951 while his father was dying due to his deteriorating health. In the poem the narrator pleads with his father to put up a fight and fend off his death as much as possible and not to give in to death (“do not go gentle”). In this critique I will point out the various writing tools Dylan Thomas used in order to engage the reader and how his choice in how he wrote expresses his emotions accurately. This villanelle’s first refrain line is the first line the reader sees (“do not go gentle into that good night”) which is an extended metaphor throughout the poem. In this the night is the metaphor for death or the afterlife. The fourth stanza continues the extended metaphor due to the sun, which is a metaphor for life and all things good. The night is referred to at the end of each line of the first stanza but is re-worded as “close of day” and “dying of the light”. There is masculine rhyme throughout the poem which portrays a sense of urgency to the reader. Thomas could have intended this because he would have felt that it was an urgent message for his narrator to have his father hear before he passed away. The decision to use the word “gentle” rather than “gently” also gives the phonology of the poem a harsher and more urgent tone. Plosive alliteration in the fifth stanza continues the…show more content…
“Dark” in this line is another form of death, and so the line means that clever people know and acknowledge when death is upon them. The second and third lines state that despite clever men knowing that death is inevitable it they do not want to die just yet because they believe that they have not left a respectable mark (“their words had forked no lightning”). As a result of this they “do not go gentle”, they try their best not to die so that they can stay alive for a little while longer and make a better

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