Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas: Analysis

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  • Topic: Poetry, Death, Rage Against the Machine
  • Pages : 2 (888 words )
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  • Published : March 7, 2013
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In his poem entitled “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, Dylan Thomas uses the elements of TP-CASTT to illustrate how man should fight death to the very end. The title tells the reader to “not go gentle”, meaning to not meekly and peacefully make the transition from life to death; instead to rage against it, and struggle with what vitality they have left. The poem begins with the speaker stating his argument – to fight against death, even unto old age. Subsequently, he describes the valiant and praiseworthy behavior of various exemplary men, one for each stanza: “wise men” who know death is inevitable; “good men” who are gratified by the honorable deeds they have done; “wild men” who were reckless and learned of death too late; and “grave men” who - despite weakness and failing sight – realize they still have power over death. Through the introduction of each example, the speaker - addressing his father - relates back to the theme: that no matter how one has lived their life, or how they feel about death, they should still die fighting. Every example of man Thomas uses tells of how - by fighting - these men are noble and admirable in dying. Also through his use of shifts in the poem, Thomas creates the impression that all men should struggle against their death. A shift is introduced (at the start of stanzas 2-5, accompanying) with each example of man fighting for life; a final shift where it is revealed who the speaker is talking to – his father. In the poet’s placing of this revelation, the reader receives the sense that his father is much like the people stated in stanzas 2-5, and that like those men, he too should “rage against the dying of the light” (Thomas) Through the use of literary devices, Thomas illustrates how men should battle their death for the sake of a noble end. Thomas utilizes numerous literary devices which contribute to the mood of the poem, some of which are: sustained metaphor, repetition, parallelism, oxymoron, and alliteration. As a...
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