You are on page 1of 1

Casie Cahoon

AP Literature
Poetry Explication
6 March 2017

Explication of Do not go gentle into that good night

In Dylan Thomass poem Do not go gentle into that good night the tone is pleading
which when looking at who the speaker is, its the author, and looking at the audience, his dying
father, makes sense. This is due to the fact that the speaker is asking his father to fight for his life
instead of peacefully dying. When applied to life, this alone provides evidence as most
individuals would ask their loved to fight and stay alive for as long as possible. The author uses
iambic pentameter to emphasize key words such as gentle, night, and light. The organization of
the poem into 6 stanzas helps to separate the poem into parts, showing us that each stanza needs
focus and equally contributes to the entire poem.
The poem begins by stating the title Do not go gentle into that good night (l.1), with the
word night acting as a symbol for death, which then allows the reader to understand the speakers
request for his father to fight against death and dying. It continues to say that Old age should
burn and rave at close of day; (l.2), with close of day also translating to death as the close of
day is the end of the day and when related to a person it means the end of life. In the final
sentence of the stanza, it says dying of the light (l.3), with light symbolizing life, and the
dying of the light being death of a person. In the next stanza, the phrase know dark is right
(l.4) is meant to show that even though we all know that death is inevitable, most will not go
gentle into that good night (l.1) for their words had forked no lightning (l.5) which means that
they regret not making a larger impact on the world around them.
In the third stanza, the idea is repeated that due to their lack of permanent influence,
people fight against death. Crying how bright/Their frail deeds might have danced in a green
bay, (ll.7-8) this is saying how they think their deeds might have might have been remembered
if only they had a chance to do them. According to the speaker, that regret is enough for them to
rage against the dying of the light. (l.9). The fourth stanza continues to follow the idea of men
fighting against death, with the hope that these examples will persuade the audience to fight to
live instead of giving into death. It states that Wild men who caught and sang the sun in
flight,/And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, (ll.10-11), in this, the sun is supposed to
symbolize life, and grieved it on its way is meant to symbolize death as its talking of life
going on its way and ending.
It compares peopled to one another to show that even though they are different, they are
still fighting to live. Grave men,...,who see with blinding sight/Blind eyes.../...rage against the
dying of the light.(ll.13-15), this comparison shows two extremes as it pictures those that can
see clearly and those that cant see at all, but the point that is being made is that even with these
differences, both of these people will fight against dying. In And you, my father, (l.16) we
have the author directly addressing the audience which is his dying father. The speaker and
author asks his father to bless,me now with your fierce tears, (l.17), which is meant to
symbolize the fathers fight, so in other words, the speaker is asking his father to bless him by
fighting to stay alive. The last two lines of the last stanza are repeats of previously said lines, that
are repeated in order to emphasize their importance.

Related Interests