“DO not go gentle into that good NIGHT”
Dr. Savo Karam Haidar
July 22nd, 2010
Analysis of Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night”
Thesis: the following poem presents a detailed analysis of “Do not go gentle into that good night”, including significance of this text along with thepoetic devices and themes.
I. Introducing the poem.
II. Detailed analysis.
A. Poetic and stylistic devices.
1. Literary devices.
2. Meter and rhythm scheme.
2. Human condition.
III. Internal influence.
A. Impact on daily life.B. Personal subjective commentary.
I. Introducing the poem:
Dylan Thomas (1914- 1953) was born in the uplands area of south Wales, where he attended a school in which his father taught English literature. Later on, he published the first set of his poems; most precisely “Do not go gentle into that good night”. This was one of the poems that led Thomas to be recognized locally andinternationally.
Due to the failing health and eye sight of his father, he dedicated this poem to his dying teacher in order to urge him to struggle and overcome his weakness.
Miserably, Dylan Thomas passed away a year after the publication of his poem in 1952.
“Do not go gentle into that good night” expressed a new form of poetry in France carrying along idyllic sentiments imitating the Italianvillanelle.
This kind of poem is characterized by not having a fixed form.
As we notice, the poem is composed of six stanzas; three lines form the first five stanzas and for the last one four lines come in hand. In the first tercet the author emphasizes on the fact of encouraging his sick father not to give up easily; it’s more like a command “Do not go gentle into that good night”.
Goingdown to the second line “old age should burn and rave at close of day”, the author tends to offer an important message to the readers saying that a man should keep up struggling his disease and remain energetic even when he becomes old and infirm. Coming back to third line, a command is given from a son to his father, compelling him to fight and “rage” against death and company,
The first stanza isa theses statement since it deliverers the speakers opinions and beliefs about aging and death.
As for the second stanza of the poem it is less broad “though wise men and know dark is right” and “because their words had forked no lightning they […] good night” delivers a unique message telling us that an old wise man knows that death is inevitable and should be accepted as a fact; this alsoexhales the poets feeling that his father have enjoyed a long life, never the less he is now powerless and cannot keep death away forever even if words are their best ally.
In stanza three, line seven “good men, the last wave by, trying how bright” seems to give a moral sense of men who experienced worthy lives as for the sentence “last wave” it shows a double image; the men form the pillars of thislast wave of approaching death in another aspect, these men tend to give a final wave to the ones who are being left behind.
Weeping and mourning is a feeling carried by the double edged meaning word “crying as it carries the meaning of speaking out”.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light” shows the intensity of the refrain that carries a contrast with the nature of the men that Thomaspresented. Going back to the fourth stanza, the good men that Thomas introduced in the previous stanzas largely differ from the wild men introduced in line 10-13; where as “caught and sang the sun” is an image carrying joy and power when compared to frail deeds. This stanza shows an ironic side about the death of Thomas Dylan.
As for the fourth tercet we notice in line thirteen a double meaning word...