Where and how is imagery used in "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"?  Any metaphors?

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Thomas seems to use imagery and metaphors, often at the same time, in order to dramatize and to make concrete something that feels so abstract and unknowable: death. Evidently, the speaker's father is very near death, and the speaker is desperately trying to convince him to fight it, insisting that ...

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Thomas seems to use imagery and metaphors, often at the same time, in order to dramatize and to make concrete something that feels so abstract and unknowable: death. Evidently, the speaker's father is very near death, and the speaker is desperately trying to convince him to fight it, insisting that all kinds of people fight death and refuse to "go gentle into that good night," and so he should too. For this reason, he uses the "good night" as a metaphor for death and "the light" as a metaphor for life. The "dying of the light"—death—is made tangible as a visual image.

As the poem progresses, the speaker describes how "Good men, the last wave by," cry "how bright / Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay." I interpret the green bay, another visual image, as a metaphor for the youth of these good men; they wish that they could have accomplished more before they grew old and ran out of chances, or, figuratively speaking, waves. Further, their "frail deeds" are personified as "danc[ing]." Wild men, the speaker says, "caught and sang the sun in flight," a metaphor for living in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest; it is also another visual image. Finally, the father's position up on a "sad height," a metaphor for his time just before death, makes his position tangible and real-seeming instead of abstract and impossible to understand. In short, then, Thomas uses metaphors and images in order to render something abstract and difficult more understandable.

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Dylan Thomas's villanelle "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is full of imagery and metaphors. The first line, which supplies the title, uses the metaphor of the good night for death. This is a fairly conventional description of death which, partly because of the blackness of night, does not suggest any strong images. However, the following stanzas contain a series of metaphors, all of which are highly visual.

The reference to words that "forked no lightning" gives us the image of forked lightning even while describing its absence. The allusion to deeds that "might have danced in a green bay" in stanza three performs the same trick, giving us the image and leaving us to unravel the visual metaphor, whether the deeds were done or not.

Perhaps the most striking image is that of the wild men catching and singing the sun in flight, a combination of blinding light and whatever variation on the music of the spheres is appropriate for "singing the sun." This image is picked up by the blinding, blazing meteors in the succeeding stanza, while the adjective "grave" inevitably conjures up an image of the grave.

Finally, we envisage the poet's father on his "sad height," a metaphor for his closeness to death (since he is now above life) which creates the image of an old prophet-bard raving and raging on a mountaintop.

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Imagery is description that uses any of the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Thomas weaves imagery throughout the poem.

For example, his narrator writes of "the dying of the light." We can create a visual picture of dusk and the sun sinking into the horizon—an image—from these words.

Thomas also mentions a "green bay," a body of water we can see in our mind's eye, and blind eyes that "blaze like meteors," another visual image.

As for metaphors, which are comparisons that do not use the words like or as, Thomas uses an extended metaphor throughout the poem by comparing death to "night." Night is a common metaphor for death, as it is easy to imagine death as being surrounded by the darkness of the grave. Thomas uses the term "good" to describe death ironically—to him it is not a "good" but something his father and other old man should struggle against as hard as they can.

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Dylan Thomas's title itself is metaphoric for his plea to his dying father; in this title and refrain, Thomas urges his father to affirm life until the very last breath: "Do Not Go Gentle into the Night."

In the first stanza, Thomas uses the images of fire and light also as metaphors for passion as he writes metaphorically that "old age" should burn and rave "at the close of day," a metaphor for an intense resistance to the end of life.

In the second stanza, death is difficult for "wise men," the intellectuals who accept it, but their work is not finished, so they do not wish to die.  Their "lightning" is the image for their works that light up minds:

Because their words had forked no lightning they...

The third stanza contains the metaphor of "good men," men who have lived sensible lives, "the last wave" ; that is, the last sensible men who are the final ones to face death, and, in so doing, they also wave goodbye.  They are "crying how bright/Their frail deed might have danced."  The image of crying is the sound of bemoaning as well as their calling out to be the last to face death.

Contrasted to the sensible men are the "Wild men" in the fourth stanza who "caught and sang the sun in flight."  This image is powerful and ebullient compared to the frail deeds of others.  But, these men, too, albeit filled with passion, will succumb to death.

In the fifth stanza, the image of "grave" is also dual, as it means "serious" as well as the shoveled earth for the coffin. Yet, although they may be blind, they can perceive more than others and "blaze like meteors," an image most bright.While the refrain underscores the passion suggested in the previous stanza there are contrasting images here:  light/dark,  blind/sight, and grave/gay.

In the final stanza, the image of "fierce tears" suggests the inevitability of death (tears), until their resistance to death up to the very end (fierce).

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