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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Dylan Thomas' poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night," the words "good night" mean death. The poet begins the poem with these words, and the line, in which they are written, is repeated at the end of stanzas two and four. Finally, the words are repeated at the end of the poem in line eighteen. This repetition shows the importance of plea of the speaker to his dying elderly father. The author is begging; he is saying do not give up easily at the time of death even though in certain situations death may be a relief from suffering. We say “good night” when putting a child to bed, when leaving someone in the evening, or as a simple wish to another person as they go to sleep. But in this poem the author is using the words metaphorically comparing a “good night” to death.

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