Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Essay

1453 Words Nov 9th, 2015 null Page
Dylan Thomas’s 1951 poem “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” explores the inevitable mortality that plagues mankind. Throughout the villanelle structure, the speaker leads the reader through his pleas of fighting against “that good night,” while the repeated refrains in alternating stanzas help to reinforce the ideas of not going “gentle” and “raging against” the dying light, instituting the idea that death is not something to succumb to. Not only does the poem explore how to face the inevitable, but Thomas also explores how a life should be lived by providing examples of men that have fought against death. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” illuminates the relationship between life and death through its villanelle structure, as well as the vivid imagery and figurative pleas to continue fighting even when the light begins to fade. The speaker begins the first stanza with the title, which also acts as the first repeating end line through the alternating tercets of the villanelle. In this line the speaker metaphorically refers to death as a “good night,” which is ironic because most do not see death as a “good” thing. The repeating idea of death being a “good” thing throughout the alternating refrains reinforces the speaker’s notion that the subject of the poem is accepting death, because the subject is “going gentle” into death, opposed to what the speaker pleads. Contrasting with the theme of inevitable mortality, the speaker states that “old age should burn and…

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