25th November 2019

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Is Do not go gentle into that good night a metaphor?

In “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” poet Dylan Thomas uses nighttime as a metaphor for death, and anguishes over his father's willing acceptance of it. He urges his father to “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” i.e. the onset of night, or as it is used here, death.

Herein, do not go gentle into that good night What does it mean?

It is a strong invocation for us to live boldly and to fight. It implores us to not just "go gentle into that good night," but to rage against it. Even at the end of life, when "grave men" are near death, the poem instructs us to burn with life. The poem's meaning is life affirming.

Do not go gentle into that good night form and structure?

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is a villanelle, a form of poem that has 19 lines. The middle lines of all the stanzas also rhyme with each other, so the poem follows the rhyme scheme ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA. It is a very formal structure for a poem, and it is unusual for Thomas to use it.

Do not go gentle into that good night is an example of what poetic style?

Dylan Thomas's most famous poem, known by its first line "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night," is also the most famous example of the poetic form known as the villanelle. (See "Rhyme, Form, and Meter" for an explanation of the villanelle.) Thomas was also known to be a heavy drinker.
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