Skip to content

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Essay

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas Essay

1158 Words5 Pages

The cycle of life always ends in death, but the frightful aspect of death is not necessarily death itself, but the concept of timing. Mark Twain states that “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die anytime” which means people’s fear of dying stems from their fear of living, and this frightful emotion takes over people’s lives and prevents them from living each day like it is their last. This fear prevents many from taking action on their dreams and ambitions which inevitably is giving one’s life up too quickly. Dylan Thomas, a famous contemporary author, believes existence is taken advantage of and when one’s existence is threatened, most people are too quick to give up. In Thomas’s “Do…show more content…

The cycle of life always ends in death, but the frightful aspect of death is not necessarily death itself, but the concept of timing. Mark Twain states that “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die anytime” which means people’s fear of dying stems from their fear of living, and this frightful emotion takes over people’s lives and prevents them from living each day like it is their last. This fear prevents many from taking action on their dreams and ambitions which inevitably is giving one’s life up too quickly. Dylan Thomas, a famous contemporary author, believes existence is taken advantage of and when one’s existence is threatened, most people are too quick to give up. In Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” the speaker of the poem confronts his deceased father about releasing one of the most valuable things in nature: life (Pattern #3). The villanelle begins with “Do not go gentle into that good night” which repeated throughout the poem to emphasize the theme and purpose of the poem, to inform the reader that one should not let life slip through one’s fingers (Thomas 1). After, the speaker says “Old age should burn and rave at close of day;” which means those who are nearing the end of life should not easily accept their demise and should oppose against nature for more time to live (Harrison) (Thomas 2). In this line, “close of day” is a metaphor for death and is telling the reader that the elders should

Show More

Dylan Thomas finished this poem, a villanelle, in 1951, and sent it off to an editor friend of a magazine, together with a note which read:

“The only person I can’t show the little enclosed poem to is, of course, my father, who doesn’t know he’s dying”

He also remarked to his friend, American Robert J. Gibson, that the spark for the poem was his father's approaching blindness. Thomas's father was to pass away a year later and the poet himself succumbed to illness and died in 1953.

When Dylan Thomas was a child his father would read Shakespeare and nursery rhymes to him and the dreamy, sensitive Welsh boy absorbed the sounds and music of the texts at an early age.

Their relationship was complex but loving. Dylan Thomas respected his father, a senior master of English, but was no academic at school, and left without furthering his education at university. The young Dylan wanted to publish his poems and go one better than his father, himself a frustrated, never published poet.

So Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is a poem that meant a lot to Dylan Thomas, who wanted to see his father face death in a blaze of defiance.

Dylan Thomas wrote many crafted, musical poems during his turbulent and boozy life as a romantic poet. His love of sound and his subject matter - religion, death, sin, redemption, love, the nature of the universe, the processes of time - helped create uniquely memorable poetry.