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Strategies to Interpret the Difficult Poem "Do Got Go Gentle into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

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Analyzing the poem Do Got Go Gentle into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas, was multifaceted. This well known poem leaves the reader a complex message within six stanzas, each getting closer to death. For example, the poem can be split into three parts ending in a personal message. The first stanza of the poem is considered the introduction. The next four stanzas give examples on how the speaker is feeling. The last stanza, the personal message, is directed towards the speaker’s father. Literary strategies allow the reader to interpret and give meaning to a poem that can be difficult to interpret. In Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, the passionate poem by Dylan Thomas, specific details containing several literary strategies such as imagery, metaphors, and syntax which explores the growing old process and moving towards death.

Imagery, according to The Seagull Reader, is the basic building block of just about any poem (Joseph xxxi). It allows the reader to understand what the author is trying to interpret through images. In Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night; Dylan Thomas uses a variety of imagery to analyze the moving toward the end of life. For example, the use of light and dark is used throughout the poem. In stanzas one, three, five, and six, the phrase “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” brings about the images of brightness, light, and life (Thomas 313). Darkness is used in the second stanza specifically in the phrase “Though wise men at their end know dark is right” to give the imagery, of possibly an old man, that is accepting death is near (Thomas 313). Death is another imagery that is brought up in Dylan Thomas’s poem Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night. In the fifth stanza Grave men are used to depict...

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...is body and its relationship with the universe; he became obsessed with the passage of time and the finality of death” (Lycett, Andrew). In Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night literary strategies are used to help depict the coming of death. It also uses strategies that persuade the readers that we must live life and fight for what we have to live for. Dylan Thomas uses specifically imagery, metaphors, and syntax to show his obsession with death. According to the Literary Cavalcode, Dylan Thomas also uses a rhyming couplet with the rhyme schemer being ABA to enhance the meaning of his poem. Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night is considered to be a villanelle. The Seagull Reader states that a villanelle is “a poem of five tercets and quatrain using just two rhymes. The first and third line of the first tercet are repeated throughout the other stanzas (Joseph 420).
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