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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is written in a very specific form, the villanelle. Now follow us closely here, because we're going to hit you with more numbers than a baseball stats chart...

Speaker

Usually we're super-strict about keeping the speaker of a poem separate from the author of a poem. After all, poets often create fictional personas who they imagine to be speaking their work –...

Setting

"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" doesn't just have one setting – it has many. Over the course of the poem's compact nineteen lines, Thomas takes us from a lingering sunset to a bolt of...

Sound Check

"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is harsh but lyrical, jarring but hypnotic. It's halfway between listening to monks chanting in Latin and listening to officers shouting orders at their troo...

What's Up With the Title?

There isn't one – that's what's up with the title! This famous villanelle, the poem for which Dylan Thomas is best known, was left untitled by the poet. Like most untitled poems, it's usually...

Calling Card

When Dylan Thomas was writing, a lot of people thought he was going to start a new Romantic movement. You know, the obsession with feeling, nature, and the individual that ties together poetry by W...

Tough-O-Meter

Dylan Thomas likes to fool around with his syntax and extend his metaphors, but the villanelle form creates constant repetition of his message and helps us follow along. One read-through of the poe...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

There's definitely no sex in "Do Not Go Gentle" – it gets all of its charge from talking about death.
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