An Analysis of Dylan Thomas “ Do not Go gently into that Good night” Essay

Dylan Thomas wrote this poem for his dying father, it  was published on December 16, 1952, along with six other poems in “ In Country Sleep “. The Poem is a villanelle. It is made up of five tercets, a unit of three lines of verse, followed by a quatrain, a unit of four lines of verse. It is a lyric poem. It makes of rhymes on every other line of the poem. Dylan also makes use of the repetition of a particular line to put his point across.

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            “Do not go gently into that good night” is a passionate poem about fighting death. Dylan Thomas uses metaphors in describing the agony of death and how one must fight against it. He compares death to darkness, as a line recurring  points to this ”Rage, rage against the dying of the light”. In this poem, Dylan Thomas talks about life, and reminds the reader why life is worth fighting for. He suggests images that call to mind, days in a life of  a man, when there was laughter and merriment,  as seen in such lines as these “Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight”.

            The poem’s main theme is fighting for life. It is an impassioned plea to his father to cling on to existence and not be carried into the darkness. Dylan Thomas words reverberates in one’s head as he seems to plead desperately that life not be given up so easily.

            The poem can also be applied in the lives of people who are not in danger of dying. It seems to call out to the living to live their lives to the fullest and not succumb to the darkness of ignorance and fear. This lyrical poem appears to be something a young person may write, for it is full of bravery and invincibility- much like what teenagers or young ones would feel. Dylan then uses the elements of age. A young person, full of life asks someone to hold on a little longer in the same way that he probably held vigil beside his beloved father.

            Dylan’s seemingly simple poem is actually very inspiring because it holds a message of hope. It draws the audience in and then encourages them to examine their existence and ask if one is happy or contented. If not, then Dylan’s battle cry is more than enough to kindle a light in a reader’s heart. It is his proclamation of existence, his fervor to “ Rage against the Dying of the Light” that is contagious and that enables him to engage readers and hold their attention and truly fight the darkness within and with out , much like how Dylan continuously did for his father, to whom this poem was written for.

            “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night: Critical Overview.


Poetry for Students. 1998. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale,

January 2006. 1 May 2008. <>.

 Thomas, Dylan. “Do not go gently into that Good Night” 2007., from the Academy of American            Poets. Retrieved 29 April 2005 from

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