Good Night Death

1162 Words3 Pages
John Donne and Dylan Thomas lived centuries apart with death being a very prominent part of each of their lives due to wars and plagues. The common theme of both poems is their attitudes towards death based on the belief of what happens to the human soul after the physical life comes to fruition. The authors’ beliefs influence their use of personification to conceptualize death to make it a more formidable adversary. The poems, “Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne, and “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas share a likeness in the concept of death, but their views of death are as contrasting as the lives of the two authors.

Dylan Thomas was born to middle class parents in Wales on October 27, 1914. He is most remembered for his “bohemian personality” (Hall 448) and married an Irish woman in 1937, who shared his enthusiasm for alcohol and a passion for living a nomadic lifestyle (Napierkowski 50). The violence and pressure of living in Europe during World War II affected Thomas and came through in his poetry. “Thomas found work writing scripts for propaganda films during World War II” (Person 1). It is unclear whether or nor he agreed with the rhetoric or was just after monetary gain. Death invaded his own life when his father became seriously ill in 1945 when he wrote “Do Not Go Gentle into That good Night”. The poem reaffirms Thomas’ belief that death is something that should be fought until the end rather than finding peace and accepting death. John Donne was born in 1572 in England to a family that valued religion. In 1615, he became an ordained minister, took his work seriously, and did very well at his job (Pierson 2). When Donne wrote “Death Be Not Proud”, death was a major concern to all people...

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...ame theme and still be as contrasting as good night and daylight.

Works Cited

Donne, John. “Death Be Not Proud.” Academy of American Poets. 1997. Web. 28

September 2011.

Hall, Sharon. “Dylan Thomas.” Twentieth-Century Literature Criticism. Vol 8. Detroit: Book

Tower, 1982. 448,461. Print

Napierkowski, Marie Rose. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” Poetry for Students. Vol

1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. 49-60. Print

Napierkowski, Marie Rose. “Holy Sonnet 10.” Poetry for Students. Vol

2. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. 102-114. Print

Person, James. “John Donne.” Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Vol 10. Detroit: Gale

Research Inc. 1-3. Print

Thomas, Dylan. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” Web. 5 October 2011.
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