Analysis of “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”
Poets have the uncommon ability to connect with their audience through their words. No matter how complex or how simple the poem is, it will surely have a strong following of readers who support it and enjoy it because they, too, feel the connection that the poet strived to make. It is that creation of an intimate bond between writer and reader that truly defines a good poet. One of the most acclaimed poets of the twentieth century, and a timeless great in the eyes of many, is Wales’ own Dylan Thomas. Thomas, though having written a myriad of poems spanning a broad spectrum of topics and themes, is most remembered for his classic villanelle, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.”
This is a very personal poem, written by Dylan to his dying father, pleading with him not to give in to death, but to fight it with his every last breath. In the poem, Thomas takes the universal tragedy of death and through his words imbues the reader with inspiration and hope to keep fighting for life. He argues that even though the wisest of men know that death must ultimately come to all, life is worth fighting for until our last breath. He pleads with his audience to recognize that though life is short, it is never complete. We must never be content to accept that the end must come to us.
However, even without knowing the background of the poem, the content is very self-explanatory, making it accessible and understandable to any reader, which is partially why this is such a classic poem.
T he poem is written in six stanzas, the first of which explains the purpose, and motivation of the poem. Thomas uses very strong and powerful words such as "burn,” "rage,” and "rave,” thus suggesting a sense of urgency in his plea. He also includes the term "close of day,” which alludes to night, which is also symbolically synonymous with death. The poem follows traditional villanelle format,...