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Lesson Note 

Subject: Literature In English 
Topic: Summary Analysis of the poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night By Dylan Thomas.
Lesson Objectives: This lesson is aimed at helping learners understand the poem  “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”. So by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:
A. In few sentences describe who the author is;
B. Identify and write about setting of the poem;
C. Recite the poem “Do Not Not Go Gentle Into That Good   Night“.
D.  Identify and discuss the themes in the poem;
E. Identify poetic devices used in the poem;
F. Identify and write about setting of the poem;

Lesson Summary Aids: see reference materials below content.

Lesson Summary / Discussion

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Dylan Thomas

The Poet
Welshman Dylan Thomas was born in 1914. At age 16, he left school to become a reporter and writer. His famous poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” was published in the year 1952, but his reputation was solidified years earlier. Thomas prose include “under miles Wood (1950), and A child’s Christmas in Wales (1955). Thomas was in high demand for his animated readings but debt and heavy drinking took their toll and he died in New York City while on tour in 1953 at age 39.

The poem
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day,
Rage, rage against The dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end no dark is right,
Because they always had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage, against the dying of light.
And you, my father, there on the dad height.

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Summary Analysis
Do not go gentle into that good night is a poem where the poet begins and wages war against the inevitable phenomenon known as death. The poet asserts that old men at the end of their life should resist death as strongly as they can. In fact, they should only leave this world kicking and screaming, furious that they have to die at all. At the end of the poem, we discovered that the poet has a personal stake in this issue. That is, his own father is dying. The poet believes that old men should not die quietly or just sleep easily away from life. Instead, they should “burn and rave” struggling with a fiery intensity. the issue of dying is strictly applicable to all human creation, it is hard for people to accept death even when it is crystal clear that death is inevitable, whether one is rich or poor, young or old, doll or clever, the situation is basically the same. The poet therefore urges his dying father to resist death. The poet state in line four 2- 6:
“The wise men out there and know that it’s lights,
Because there was had forked no lightening they
Do not go gentle into that good night”.
Here the poet meant that even though smart people know that is unavoidable (line 4), they don’t just accept it and let themselves fade away (line 6) because they may not have achieved everything they were capable of yet (line 5). The metaphor of night as death continues here with death figured as the “dark”. The poet admit that sensible, smart people realize death – traveling into “the dark” – is inevitable and appropriate. After all, we are all going to die, and it’s a totally natural process. The poet, Dylan Thomas, PT positive features of growing old. According to him, the elderly people should not be discontented and discouraged because of their age, the ‘wise men’, ‘good men’, ‘grave men’ all should rise up and challenge the dying of the light. the poet therefore want them to continue to forge ahead and not to desert the pleasures of life the once enjoyed.
the poet’s also speaks about the ‘graved men’ near-death, who ‘see blinding sight / blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay’.
actually this group of people are those who despite their old age and blindness still feel strong and active to enjoy the rest of their lives. The message established in this poem is powerful, clear and instructive and worthy of emulation,as the poet encourages the elderly men to live with higher level of expectation and optimism particularly those who have already lost all hope of survival. In the case of this poem, “do not go gentle into that good night”, it is nearly impossible to separate the speaker of the poem, who is using his father to struggle mightily with death, from the author Dylan Thomas, who was really upset about his own Father’s declining health and impending death.

Poetic Devices

1. Tone/Mood
The poet is characterized by an intense and strong emotion and words like ‘rage,’ ‘rave’, ‘burn’, ‘dying’, ‘grieved’, close of day’, dark’, ‘mentors,’ end’, fierce tears’, ‘too late’, ‘sun in flight’, sad height’, all enabled g poet to create our intention and ultimately give the poem a tone of anxiety and intensity.
2. Oxymoron
this is the combination of two terms or expressions of 2 words which are ordinarily contradictory to each other. Three good examples as used in this poem are: ‘blinding sight’, ‘curse, bless’, ‘dark is light’s.
3. Simile
one notable example of this simulated contrast in the poem can be found in the following expression: ‘ Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay’. this helps to make the father’s condition clear, vivid and real to life.
4. Metaphor
letter for is like a simile that it is a form of comparison the only difference is that where is introducing the comparison as or like an are omitted. This means that metaphor gives direct comparison. Examples of metaphor as used in this poem are: ‘close of the day’, ‘ the dying of the light’, ‘ sharing our mind’, ‘last wave’, ‘sad height’, ‘sun in flight’, ‘that good night’, which is death, the long sleep associated with darkness and grief.
5. Repetition
Certain words and phrases are repeated for effect. The poetic device is to achieve emphasis and to compel attention and this is true in ordinary way of speaking. Two notable examples as used in the poem are: ‘ Do not go gentle into that good night’, ‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light’.
6. Hyperbole
This is a form of expression that illustrates an over statement of facts or an exaggeration. It is more often found in poetry than in prose. the poetic effect is to give emphasis to the point which the poet wants to make. Some notable examples as used in this poem are: ‘ their words had forked no lightning’, ‘ Rage, rage against the dying of the light’, ‘ frail deeds …. danced …..’, ‘Caught and sang the sun in flight’.
7. Enjambment
This is also called run-on lines. this wetek device enhances the reading speed and rhythmic quality of the poem and also confessed attention to the reader. Example as used in this poem:
“Though wise men at their end know that is light
Because there was hard-fought no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night”.
10. Imagery
in this poem there are two powerful images drawn to create a paint the picture of what the poem is conveying to the readers. A good imagery used in this poem are: “light and “dark” which symbolises life and death respectively.


In contemporary literary studies, a theme is a central topic, subject, or message within a narrative. Themes can be divided into two categories: a work’s thematic concept is what readers “think the work is about” and its thematic statement being “what the work says about the subject”. Themes are often distinguished from premises. The most common contemporary understanding of theme is an idea or point that is central to a story, which can often be summed in a single word (for example, love, death, betrayal). Below are themes drawn from the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night”.

1. Theme of Death

The poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” explores the theme of death through the use of metaphor. That “good night” is death, the long sleep associated with darkness and grief. This darkness is juxtaposed with the “light” of life. Though the poem is specifically composed for the dying father of the poet, Dylan Thomas, it has a universal import.

2. Theme of Ageing
Dylan Thomas also explore the theme of aging along with the team of death. He encourages the elderly to “rage, rage” against The dying of the light insisting that they should fight that I refuse to go “gentle” or easily into the 9th of death.
3. Theme of Grief
Grief is another important theme in the poem. The speaker expresses grave and dismay as he begs his dying father to live. D Good men and the wise men also express grief when they realise that death will prevent them from doing good works and seeking pleasure. This is a natural response to death.
4. Theme of Termination of Life Care and Expectancy
Another significant thing expressed in the poem is that of termination of life care and expectancy. In life, it is expected that the leaving cert take adequate care of the dead especially when they are sick because the spiritual blessings for this begins rightly from the moment of sickness to the end of life journey on Earth. It is on this ground that the poet clearly declares: “And you, my father,…/ Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

The poet’s choice of language for the poem is in specific form, the villanelle. It has 19 lines divided into five three lines stanzas and a sixth stanzawith four lines.
The rhyme scheme is ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA. The poet, Dylan Thomas’ ability to follow this strict and complicated form which actually works against the language he’s using, and still create such an emotional poem with an urgent feel, is truly artistic and impressive.

A setting (or backdrop) is the time and geographic location within a narrative, either non-fiction or fiction. It is a literary element. The setting initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story. The setting can be referred to as story world or milieu to include a context (especially society) beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may include culture, historical period, geography, and hour. Along with the plot, character, theme, and style, setting is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.

The poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” does not have one setting but numerous. Over the course of the poems compact 19 lines, Thomas takes us from a lingering sunset to a bolt of lightning from a green bay extending out from the sea shore to a shooting star blazing across the sky and finally to the top of a mountain. of course all of these places are metaphorical descriptions of Life death and struggle but we are starting to notice that they are all grand aspects of nature. This poem literally goes from the depth of the ocean, “green bay”, to the tallest peak, that “sad height”, and everywhere in- between. Of course the whole time we are travelling through nature, the speaker is really at the bedside of his dying father.

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Dylan Thomas. Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. 29 June 2021.  He took his family to Italy, and while in Florence, he wrote In Country Sleep, And Other Poems (Dent, 1952), which includes his most famous poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

Collected Poems 1934-1952 by Thomas, Dylan”. Wikipedia.org. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2021.