Dylan Thomas Essay
In the poem "Do not go gentle into that good night" Dylan Thomas tells the story of a young man who encourages his father to fight rather to accept death. This poem has a lot to do with thanatology, which is the study of death and dying. Grief and rebellion are used throughout this poem. He gives examples of how "wise men," "good men," "wild men," and "grave men" "rage against the dying of the light." He then begs his father to do the same. The son is pretty much telling his father that he needs to rebel against death. In "Do not go gentle into that good night," every first and third line rhymes. Also, the first, third, and fourth lines of the final four-lined "quatrain" end, rhyme with "night" or "light.
It is unfeasible to analyze this poem without some knowledge of Dylan and the relationship with his father. The poem was written to his father who was dying painfully of throat cancer. Dylan had much love and respect for his father. His love of words and of literature was a great impact on his life due to his father who was an English teacher at his school.
In deep respect for his father, it was arduous for Dylan to see the old man as a victim of a horrifying illness. Throughout Dylan's life, he saw his father as a person totally in control of his emotions, and actions. Dylan often saw how his father was a winner, and was not the type of person to accept failure. Therefore on seeing him vainly struggling and losing against this illness, Dylan wrote the poem almost as a direction to his father not to give up on life and to strive to live.
All of the lines consist of seven syllables with the exception of the closing line of each verse and the third line of the second verse. The reader can also apprehend that almost all of the syllables are monosyllable. The "rhythm" is created through a strict pattern. One can also tell that the tone in the first and last verses of the poem is "imperative." An example would be of Dylan orders his father to battle the disease. Do not go gentle into that good night" means to not slip away into death without a fight. It suggests to not being gentle about death, while "good night" is equal to death, not essentially something displeasing, but undeniably something permanent. The words "good night" imply several meanings within the poem. We say "good night" to people as the last thing we communicate to them each day. Dylan often linked death with sleep in his poetry, while also to have a "good night" would have been a reoccurring expression to the sick. Dylan distinguished a "good night" as a gentle way in connection to foreseeable death. The quote "Old age should burn and rave at close of day" explains how the old man should not accept death. In other words, wondrous life is too precious to be given up meekly, according to Dylan. This line is almost self-explanatory.
The next four verses directly address men of certain qualities - wise men, good men, and wild men, and great men are used to attribute his father. These verses hint a reason why such individuals might protest against oncoming death.
Another quote with a given meaning would be the following: "Though wise men at their end know dark is right, because their words had forked no lightning they" meaning that wise men anticipate and recognize the predictability of death, and how "dark is right." The person although should still be regretful of their own individual death in connection that they feel that they did not make full use of their lives. Dylan's father had been a teacher all his life.
"Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay" meaning even the best of men yearn for appreciation. Many of these men have dreams of moving away to somewhere where their talent might be more cherished. In other words, approaching death means that this cannot be put into action. Thomas senior had been disregarded for promotions several times during his career at Swansea Grammar School and Dylan knew how much this really did irritate his father.
"Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, and learn too late they grieved it on its way " In respect of all of the celebration and emotions shown during life, at the end of the day when the sun is soon to set, only heartache and sorrow remain. Dylan's father was an emotional man. Throughout the poem, Dylan was encouraging his father to fight death rather than to tolerate his own passing.
"Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay." Approaching death might be an enlightening and inspiring experience and perhaps even seen as a unique insight into the universe and to "the meaning of life" is to come. Why not hold on to the moment for as long as possible? Dylan's father, a highly intelligent man had also been blind for some time.
"And you my father, there on the sad height, curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray" is a direct catchphrase to grasp life.
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