Do not go gentle into that good night – Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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24 comments on “Do not go gentle into that good night – Dylan Thomas
  1. Profile photo of Jake Leggat says:

    Throughout this poem, there is a constant theme of death. The poet, Dylan Thomas, conveys his feelings about this subject through repetition of the phrase ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’ By using the word ‘rage’, he is showing his anger against death, but also shows that he believes in fighting against it. This thought is mirrored in the latter section of the quotation, because the word ‘dying’ shows that it is no the end yet, and that you shouldn’t give up until it is.

    However, this ferociousness of the word ‘rage’ juxtaposes the structure of the poem. It is set out in a fairly orthodox way, with 6 stanzas, each one consisting of 3 lines, except the last which has 4. Thomas is not raging against the rules of poetry, as it also has common rhyme scheme of ABAB, which suggests he doesn’t truly believe that death is such a bad thing. This idea can also be found in other places throughout the poem; for example, the words ‘good night’ are pleasant words that you would not usually associate with death. This creates a conflicting feel about Thomas’s views on death, because at some points he describes it as a bad thing, and at some points the opposite.

  2. Profile photo of Rhianna King says:

    Dylan Thomas portrays the emotions that death can cause in his poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’. Thomas wrote the poem for his dying father and throughout the course of the poem the reader witnesses the various emotions he, and others feel, when there is a death of a loved one.

    One emotion that Thomas portrays is anger. This is evident through the constant repetition of ‘Rage, rage’ which is used four times in the poem. However, at what his anger is aimed at is unclear as it could be targeted towards death itself or at his dying father whom he feels is not fighting hard enough to stay alive. This is reinforced as he says ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ which implies that he believes his father has a say in the matter yet is choosing to simply drift away into the night. However, by the use of the words ‘good night’ it shows that maybe Thomas knows really that the outcome is inevitable as at the end of everyday there is the night and it is not in our power to change that.

    However, another emotion expressed is confusion. This is shown through the line “Curse, bless, me now you with your fierce tears. I pray.” Thomas’ father was an atheist and Dylan Thomas was raised atheist yet at the time period he was alive religious beliefs in society would have been strong. As an atheist, his father would not have believed that, after the event of his death, he would be going to an afterlife- be it heaven or hell. Nevertheless, in the last stanza Thomas uses the words ‘Curse’ and ‘bless’ which could be religious lexis. This could show that Thomas was feeling confused about things and even his own beliefs once his father was going to die. This may be because he would not want to think that his father would die and his life would just end. He also says ‘I pray’ which shows that he is at such a point of desperation that he is turning to religion as a last resort and as comfort. This also mirrors our modern day society as now many are not religious yet people often treat religion as a ‘safety net’ to the extent that when they need it, they use it.

  3. Profile photo of charlie says:

    The rhyme scheme of the poem is AB AB CD CD. There is the theme of death throughout the poem. Thomas uses an extended metaphor which portrays life as day and death as night. Many times in the poem Thomas refers to the last moments of the life as the closing of the day which portrays to us how fast life can slip away as the moment day turns to night happens very quickly. The first line of the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” is a refrain and is repeated four times in the poem and evokes that his father should fight against death.The use of alliteration and sound play in that line makes the words go together which juxtoposes their harsh meaning. The poem was wrote when Thomas’ father was dying. The use of the line “rage, rage against the dying of the light” emphasises how Thomas is angry with death and that his Father is dying. The use of words like “crying and grieve” highlights the emotion of sadness in the poem and how upset Thomas was when his father was dying. The use of commas in “you, my father,” strengthens the point that the poem is a way of connecting to his father and the use of the word “you” evokes that he is speaking to his father and creates a personal theme. All throughout the poem there is use of commas which make the poem flow and have a rhythm which juxtoposes the meaning of the poem and the mentioning of death which highlights that death may be the right thing and is not bad. The structure of the poem is 6 stanzas with 5 having 3 lines and one having four lines because it is a villanelle which is written in iambic pentameter. Some of the stressed syllables are ” rage” and “burn” this highlights the theme of anger and death the words carry to the audience. Thomas refers to death as night so when it says “good night” it shows that he thinks that death is not bad this contradicts his anger towards his father dying.

  4. Profile photo of Vicky Murkett says:

    In this poem Dylan Thomas is speaking about his fathers death, however he does not include the words die or death throughout the poem. This could illustrate his denial of losing his farther which is further demonstrated in the last line of each stanza ‘do not go gentle’. This repetition shows he is not willing to accept that his farther is dying as it portrays desperation.
    Another key point that links into this idea is the facts he uses gentle and calm terms for dying such as ‘dying of the light’ and ‘last wave’ which detaches the reality of his farther dying.
    Instead of saying his goodbyes we can also see Dylan telling his farther to carrying on fighting ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’ further emphasizing his desperation and contradicting the idea of going ‘gentle’ as ‘rage’ is a word of anger.
    Although there is a lack of religious imagery, the words ‘good night’ could suggest hope that there is an after life for his farther to ease his pain and again ignore and avoid the fact his farther will be gone. This relates to many modern attitudes towards religion it is only used when people need it the most such as in a ‘pray’ or as reassurance.

  5. Profile photo of Kerry-Louise Boyne says:

    Thomas conveys his thoughts and feelings about death in a plethora of ways.

    In his letter to his dad he doesn’t actually want to state that he is dying as it may cause upset for both himself and his father so through out the poem he uses euphemisms, ‘last wave’ by using this technique you can tell his feelings are those of anger and upset because he doesn’t want to admit the fact that his father is dying. Which links to modern society when people don’t want to admit to what they’ve done or feel upset or embarrassed eith current events for example when people say ‘passed away’ or ‘making love’ which could also be seen as quite a childish way of talking which would link back to the relationship of the poet and his father.

    This poem also shows Thomas’s thoughts about religion when death is present. He wants his father to believe in an afterlife as its a comforting thought;although, his father is atheist he still uses phrases like ‘I pray’ this depicts that he’s convincing his father that it could be a better place and that he has nothing to loose. Which links closely to today’s society as even those who aren’t religious, on times of desperation still pray, because its the only thing they can physically do.

    The poet seems to feel a great deal of anger as he really wants his father to fight for his life so repeatedly throughout the poem uses the words, ‘rage rage’ which could imply that not only does he have anger that his father isn’t fighting because he knows he’s strong but also he has rage against his father not being religious and not following societies views but then if that is the case why does the poems structure follow suit because surely that’s juxtaposing his ideas. This could link to today’s society because many countries are fighting wars over religion which shouldn’t be happening because its not condoned in the Bible and if one of there family members were dying they surely wouldn’t care what religion the doctor was that is trying to help.

  6. Profile photo of Sofia says:

    Dylan Thomas uses many techniques to try and ease the idea of death. “Rage, rage.” The author uses the repetition of ‘rage’ in four out of six stanzas. Thomas also repeats the phrase, “Don’t go gentle into that goodnight.” in four of the six stanzas too. The first and last stanza’s have both these phrases in. The rest of the stanzas alternate. In the last stanza if you put the phrase ‘Don’t go gentle into that goodnight’ and ‘rage, rage’ together it almost seems like an advice you could give to someone. It’s conveying that you shouldn’t give up on life-even if you are old and to resist death which could be seen as going against the natural order and also the idea that you shouldn’t die in your sleep as you shouldn’t go that easily. However, if it was a rage you would expect the poem to be less structured and therefore, the poem contradicts the structure of the poem which could portray that the author is respecting his fathers view.

    Furthermore, the use of this repetition suggests that the author could be angry at God for taking away life;however, it then says that the author is accepting death and that no matter what you do darkness will consume you so you might as well give up but this idea juxtaposes the repetition of ‘rage’ because repeating rage can mean that he doesn’t give up easily and that he is prepared to fight for what he wants but the speaker is trying to fight against something that he doesn’t think is that bad- you can’t have both.

    Likewise, the author could also be stressing his anger at the person dying in the poem because he feels as if that person isn’t doing enough to stay alive and because he knows that he is going to leave him. “I pray” Here the poet uses religious imagery, so even though the poet is angry, at the same time he is trying to convince himself that there is an afterlife because it is a comforting idea to believe that there is a God/heaven as a safety net that will protect his relatives.

  7. Profile photo of Sophie says:

    The poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ by Dylan Thomas mainly potrays themes of death; as it was written for his dying father.

    Throughout the poem the writer’s own views on death are conyeved – which coincidely convey his religous beliefs. ‘And you, my father, there on sad height’. The words ‘my father’ symbolise a ‘God’, sparking the thought that Thomas is a religous man. This is reinforced by the words ‘sad height’ which link to a ‘heaven’. This shows that although the writer does not want his father to die; his religous beliefs in God and of a heaven allow some comfort in.

    However the poem also explores the authors feeling of anger. Displayed by the line ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light’ which is repeated four times throughout the poem. The repition represents the ongoing anger felt by Thomas perhaps at the situation he is in. The word ‘rage’ could portray his feelings that it his father’s time to die – in other words the poet is not ready to lose a person that had such a great influence on his life. On the other hand it could also show the authors anger at his fathers opposing beliefs in relation to God. If his father was a non-relgious man, the poet could be expressing his annoyance that he is so close to death and whether he reaches heaven or hell could be effected by his beliefs.

  8. Profile photo of Katie Scott says:

    Throughout the poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ by Dylan Thomas, there is numerous examples of repetition. The phrase “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” is persistently used throughout the poem to display the writer’s evident fury at the death of his father, on which the poem is based. The repetition enhances his anger and also implies that there may be different connotations to the lexis “rage”. It could be related to a ‘raging fire’ which inflicts images of hell and the ferocity of pain; therefore it could be inferred that his father died of an illness that spread ferociously or ‘with rage’ through the body.

    The writer regularly includes religious vocabulary so it can be presumed that Dylan Thomas was a religious man. Lexical choices such as “I pray” and “…near death, who see with blinding sight” are evidently religious as they have connotations of God and reaching heaven upon dying. This leads the reader to believe that Dylan Thomas is, although sad to be losing his father, accepting of his death as he feels he will be ‘in a better place’ because of the Bible’s religious teachings. This idea is reaffirmed by the juxtaposition in the title of “gentle”, a phrase that is rarely associated with one who opposes death. Thomas displays his acceptance and trust in God through the phrase and it almost becomes a desire that his father die gently and with ease.

  9. Profile photo of Lauren McCorkell says:

    Dylan Thomas recurrently conveys his thoughts and feelings about death in “Do not go gentle into that goodnight”.
    The line “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” shows how the author is telling someone to fight against their death. The usage of euphemism “dying of the light” tries to soften the idea of death, however it heavily contradicts the earlier part of the sentence of which you would think death is an evil thing. The anger which is portrayed is not reflected to the later part of the sentence. Death is described in such a peaceful way when it could have been depicted in much more explicit ways. I think this is because Thomas is attempting to comfort someone (with background knowledge, his Father) about dying whist at the same time instructing him to keep fighting.
    Thomas hopes that death is not the end but is uncertain whether there is an afterlife. We can see this because if he totally believed in an afterlife he would not be as concerned for his Father to ‘rage’ against it. On the other hand, as his Father is dying, he desperately hopes there is something after the ‘dying of the light’.
    Throughout the poem Thomas is giving advice to all types of men ‘wise men’ ‘Good men’ ‘Wild men’ and ‘Grave men’ in each stanza. However, in the last stanza he talks directly to his Father “And you, my father” asking him to not give in. This shows how the writer is trying to show his father that everyone should fight for their lives, and he is not an exception. I feel as if Thomas thinks that death is avoidable until we as humans give up, that maybe he believes that it is a choice. Also, that he does not think a death is noble unless you fight against it. Furthermore, it could be seen that if you die you are allowing ‘death’ to win.
    The poem is symbolic of modern attitudes towards religion. The uncertainty of there being a higher being. The way of which religion is largely used today is to not really believe until desperate times eg. a death or disaster. Religion is used this way in the poem, Thomas does not want his father to die because he does not know whether he will just go into nothingness. Therefore he is hoping and pleading that there is to be a life after death.

  10. Profile photo of Georgina King says:

    ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ written by Dylan Thomas can be seen as a rebellious poem due to the upbringing of the writer in an atheist household. The poem uses a multitude of religious imagery in a plea for his father not to die, despite his father’s extremely unreligious beliefs. Thomas uses “Curse, bless,…tears, I pray… rage against the dying of the light.” to show that in his desperation, he turned to the belief of a religious power similarly to many people when faced with death. The idea of begging to a greater religious power to save a life is a reflection of modern attitudes where often, many nonreligious people pray to a ‘God’ as a last attempt to save a loved ones life.

    The use of the euphemism “dying of the light” is also a reflection of modern attitudes towards death. Thomas uses different euphemisms of death throughout his poem to show how often children are taught that there is a heaven and a ‘better place’ where people go after death. It is a comforting thought thus parents tell their children of such places even if they don’t believe in them themselves. Dylan Thomas may therefore be asking for such places to exist and, throughout the poem, using the euphemisms to try and convince himself of an after life despite the idea going against everything he believes in. The stanzas and rhymes of the poem are ordered which juxtaposes the poem’s rebellious nature. This could be a further reflection of Thomas trying to conform to the religious attitudes at the time as the poem was written during the 1950’s, a time when a majority of people had strong religious beliefs. The ordered structure could be a symbol of his ideas and attitudes changing in his desperation so as to increase the sincerity and genuineness of his non-rebellious, religious beliefs in his plea.

  11. Profile photo of Hannah Gillespie says:

    In the poem ‘Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night’ written by Dylan Thomas, the speaker addresses an unknown listener, telling him not to “go gentle into that good night.” By the end of line three, we realize that the speaker is using night as a metaphor for death. “The good night” is renamed at the end of line 2 as the “close of day” and at the end of line 3 as “the dying of the light.” The metaphor for death is repeated at the end of each of the lines, as the speaker thinks that he shouldn’t just slip easily away from this life. Instead, they should “burn and rave.” The word ‘rave’ in line 2 connects with the repeated ‘rage’ at the beginning of the line 3, uniting anger, power, madness and frustration.
    In the last lines of the poem, the speaker turns to addressing his father, his father is on the verge of death which is described as a “sad height”. The speaker ends with the two lines that are repeated throughout the poem, asking or instructing his father not to submit to death and instead he should ‘rage’ and fight death every step of the way.

  12. Profile photo of Rhianna Creasey says:

    In the poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’, Dylan Thomas uses a myriad of symbolic imagery to convey death. Thomas uses a constant repetition of the line “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” This phrase is repeated a plethora of times therefore makes the line stand out to the reader. This line could be interpreted as Thomas trying to motivate his father to fight against death. This is because the word ‘light’ tends to be symbolic of God as well as death. Not only that but the idea of death is constantly repeated at the end of each line in the first stanza. This could be interpreted as each line being his father’s death. This is because the lexis used are ‘night’, ‘day’ and ‘light’ which are all associated with death and the end of something.
    However, the idea that the poem is religious could actually have a different explanation. This is that natural concepts such as day, night, light, lightning, sun and meteors could alternatively suggest that death is a natural way of life instead Thomas is conveying that he is angry at death for taking his father rather than angry at God. However, it is believed that God created the universe therefore has decided the course of life for Thomas’ father.
    Also, another example of how Dylan Thomas conveys death is in stanza three where he uses the phrase “last wave” this phrase is symbolic of death as the metaphor is again of death as it is the last wave before hitting the shore and essentially ‘dying’ which concept can be applied to Thomas’ portray of death. This is because a wave contains a lot of energy and goes through a journey which is similar to that of a human. In this idea, the sea is life and the beach is death.

  13. Profile photo of Deana says:

    The poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ is about the desperation of trying to stay alive and fighting against the unavoidable event- death. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Conveys that this poem is about making your life ‘worthwhile’. Will you die unnoticed and follow the usual, expected death or will you ‘rage’ against death living life to the full, and accomplish all you set out to do ready for what death brings you. Additionally I think that man itself is compared with the power that nature can do to belittle man, and make them feel small in contrast to the enormousness of the universe. Therefore I think this poem is portraying that you must not be afraid of death, and you must stop being scared and accomplish all the things that you set out to do in your life.

  14. Profile photo of Yasmin Aumeeruddy says:

    Dylan Thomas wrote ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ in order to express his emotions that were caused by the death of his father. Throughout the poem, the speaker uses juxtaposition to describe his sentiments during the period of time. “Do not go gentle into that good night,” This utterance displays the disagreement that the writer has about letting his father die which could be caused by fear or anger. However, the use of the word ‘gentle’ infers that Dylan Thomas is telling his father to ‘not go’ to a place which he portrays as positive and peaceful. This demand could occur because the speaker may not have truly believed that the afterlife exists, as he was an atheist. Therefore, illustrating that when his father dies, that would be the end of his life. To make the situation easier for him, the speaker comforts himself by stating death as a ‘gentle’ process. Additionally, Dylan Thomas uses the phrase ‘good night’ to describe death. This displays the the imagery that the writer pictures when thinking about death. He may see it as going to sleep or resting, however; the speaker’s wish to not give up on life at the start of the line highlights the multiple feelings that he has about the situation. On the other hand, ‘good night’ is also a phrase that is said when someone is leaving. Therefore, Dylan Thomas is preparing to part with his father.

  15. Profile photo of Ellie says:

    In the poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’, Dylan Thomas conveys the idea of death in a plethora of ways. Thomas keeps the person they are talking about unknown and it is not revealed throughout the poem.
    ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light’ this contrasts how you should not give up on life easily and you should keep on fighting. However, this juxtaposes with the idea of the night being ‘good’ hence this has connotations of peacefulness. The poet could also be illustrating how you should rage against death until you are actually dying when it transforms into a good night.
    By using the phrase ‘I pray’ this conveys ideas of modern day society and religion hence people do not believe in God but when times get bad they turn to God as a saviour and pray. Moreover when times aren’t their best, society turn to praying so whoever is dying does not have to ‘rage’ against death or even ‘go gentle into that good night’, hence how god will save them.

  16. Profile photo of Phoebe Cushion says:

    In the poem ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’ the theme of death is present throughout. However, the poem is not representing death alone, but the idea of resisting death.
    The writer of the poem,Dylan Thomas,is expressing his views towards how he feels we should deal with death. Thomas believes that we should not die peacefully or give into death; but that we should fight against it and not let go of our precious lives easily. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” conveys these ideas of resisting death as the ‘light’ symbolises life, and Thomas tells the listener to fight against the ‘light’ going out. The fact that the word ‘rage’ is repeated throughout the poem, portrays that Thomas has feelings of anger. We know that Thomas is writing the poem for his father who was dying. Thomas believes that his father should not ‘take the easy way out’ and just die peacefully, but that he should fight against his inevitable death. The fact that Thomas portrays death as a ‘goodnight’ supports the idea that he feels death is the easy option for his father, as the connotations of a ‘goodnight’ are peaceful and relieving.

  17. Profile photo of Evelina Peterson says:

    In the poem of ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’, Dylan Thomas uses a range of linguistic techniques in order to address his dying father; speaking of his declining health and strength and encouraging him to cling onto his life. The poet tries to communicate through his poem by saying that the elderly should not be discouraged and feel hopeless due to their age. “Do not go gentle into the good night” refers to the later stage of life; comparing features of a day with features of a life time. Another line which is used continuously is “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Here the poet urges the reader to charge forward into the prime of life, and not to be afraid to live it. The use of euphemistic language acts as a reassurance to the poet, who is convincing himself to view death in a positive way. The use of the word “pray” gives initial religious connotations, which is symbolic to many attitudes towards religion nowadays – using ‘God’ and faith as a ‘safety net’, or ‘last attempt’ to save a loved one. This gives the idea that Thomas doesn’t want his father to die, simply because he doesn’t know whether there is an afterlife, therefore, it becomes his desire for his father to go gently and with ease.

  18. Profile photo of Felicity Hale says:

    The first stanza of “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas outlines the beliefs the poet has of death, which are carried through out the stanza. When the speaker writes in the second line of the first stanza, “Old age should burn and rave at the close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of that light” he is talking about the idea that moving toward death should not be something we give up on and pass away easily, but that we should fight against it for as long as possible. When he says, “rage, rage against the dying of the light” it is showing that the dying light means darkness, which could be portrayed as a metaphor for death. We should also “burn” which conveys a bright and happy life before that, and trying to keep it going.

  19. Profile photo of amy p says:

    The poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ has connotations of views towards death. the main themes of the poem are attitudes towards religion and death

    In the poem, the author is addressing his father, who was dying when the poem was written. The repitition of the word ‘Rage,’ in the final stanza displays how the author is urging his father to ‘rage,’ against death and not give in. The author’s father was an atheist and so to tell someone to ‘rage,’ against death is an atheist attitude to have as a religious person would accept death. This implies that the author, Dylan Thomas, is supporting his father’s atheist view. However, the line ‘do not go gentle into that good night,’ and the word ‘bright,’ juxtapose each other as the first quote highlights an atheist view however the second quote demonstrates the possibility of a heaven and an afterlife. This juxtaposition between the language portrays how the author has conflict within himself between whether he believes in religion or does not. Furthermore, the poem is structured, therefore compensating for his father’s atheist (unstructured) views.

  20. Profile photo of Brooke Roberts says:

    ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’ byDylan Thomas includeds a strong portrayal of death aswell as a large incluion of repitition.

    The title of the poem itself is repeated three times. This repetition emphasises the need of the order the child is giving to his father, which is to avoid death. The word ‘gentle’ and the poets telling the father character to not do so wehn his time comes had strong connotations of putting up a fight. This idea is again brought up through the word ‘rage’ in the line ‘rage,rage against the dying of the night’ which is once again repeated through out the poem.

    The poem also describes how the character of the cild ‘prays’ which juxtaposes the title as religious people believe death is God taking you and therefore fighting death, which the child is pleeding for the father to do, would be viewed as fighting God’s wishes.

  21. Profile photo of Jessica mccullagh says:

    The poem “do not go gentle into that good night” connotes a vast amount of Dylan Thomas’s thoughts and feelings about death. The main theme of the poem is his farther dying, during the course of the poem Thomas conveys anger and frustration towards his farther dying “do not go gentle” this could suggest to the reader that Thomas does not want his dad to give up and just die, his wants him to fight death. By using the words “do not” it shows he is instructing his dad. Also is getting frustrated thus telling him he cannot just give up and die. On the other hand by using the word “gentle” it could suggest Thomas does not want his dad to have a pain free death and wants him to suffer, instead of going peacefully into death.
    By saying “Curse, bless,…tears, I pray… rage against the dying of the light.” this again shows Thomas’s frustration about his farther death, also it shows us that he is becoming desperate. Even in his atheist household upbringing, he has turned to religion to hinder his farther. Thomas uses a plethora of religious connotations throughout the poem. The repetition of “dying of the light” links to religion as “light” inclines God as well as death. This also shows imagery of the end of the day when the sun goes down and there is no more light. This could be associated with death as there is imagery of people going into darkness when they die.

  22. Profile photo of Sophie Thomas says:

    Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas.

    This poem uses many different techniques in order to voice the poets thoughts and feelings throughout- one of these being through the structure of the poem.
    Thomas has written the poem in the structure of a villanelle. Villanelle’s were popular poetic structures towards the end of the nineteenth century; short before Thomas was born. They have frequently been noted as a form in which often ‘treats the subject of obsessions’ and ‘appeals to outsiders’. Through-out the poem Thomas often mentions the subject of death and dying, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light…Do not go gentle into that good night”. From this we can see how Thomas feels and the repetition throughout the poem of these two lines further highlights this and runs in cohesion with the common not that a villanelle is often written about an obsession. This suggests how the death and dying of his father may have become his ‘obsession’ and something he frequently thinks about and feels strong towards- thus wanting to share his experiences with people(‘outsiders’) via the poem to understand his thoughts and possibly allow others to relate to his feelings and experience themselves.

  23. Profile photo of Meg Abery says:

    The poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ is considered to be one of Dylan Thomas’s finest works. Originally published in the journal Botteghe Oscure in 1951 the villanelle depicts graphic Second World War emotions, whilst carefully balancing his own symbolic views on life. Thomas did not see the front line however was still heavily affected by the catastrophic wave of destruction the war created. These feelings are prominent throughout ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.
    This poem was written for his dying father, this has been illustrated in the last stanza. In the last stanza Thomas has shown raw emotion which idolizes his vulnerability. The repeated line in the poem of which is ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ has boldly done this. It also suggests that Thomas is asking his father not to give up on his self to carry on pushing forward within his life.

  24. Profile photo of jenna says:

    Dylan Thomas uses dramatic language to convey his thoughts and feelings upon death throughout the poem “Do not go gentle into that goodnight.”
    At the end of each stanza, Thomas repeats the line “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” The word “rage”, which is used twice within each repetition, illustrates the anger that Thomas is experiencing and “the dying of the light” is describing the event of a death. These ideas together lead me to believe that Thomas is experiencing a strong resistance to death and feels the urgency to not give up on life, but to “rage” on. This last idea also implies that “rage” is an ongoing struggle.
    In the last stanza, Thomas uses the personification “fierce tears”. The word “fierce” conveys feelings of anger, then followed by “tears” which denote feelings of sadness and sometimes nerves. This phrase together demonstrates that Thomas is angry to die but deep down he is also scared and nervous to let go of his life. He is left overwhelmed by emotion and therefore he cries the “fierce tears”.

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