Study Guide

And Death Shall Have No Dominion Perseverance

By Dylan Thomas

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If we're still figuratively kicking after death, it's safe to say we've got quite a bit of perseverance pent up in our little earthly bodies. The idea that some part of us perseveres after our bodies are gone is a big theme in "And death shall have no dominion." No matter the circumstances, that part will rise up and join the cosmic afterparty.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. How do you think the idea of perseverance is different on earth compared to the poem's cosmic afterlife? Is there any difference? Why or why not? 
  2. How does all the tortuous imagery of the second stanza contribute to the poem's theme of perseverance? Or does it?
  3. Even if we persevere after death, would we still be the same person according to the poem? 
  4. What's the significance of nature persevering in the third stanza? What does it matter if a flower lifts "its head to the blows of the rain"? Is there any symbolism there?

Chew on This

If death really has no dominion, we can imagine that our level of perseverance is limitless in Thomas's poem.

Perseverance in Thomas's poem isn't the same sort of thing we experience in our daily lives, but is rather an effortless thing that happens naturally.

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