Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

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Critical Overview

(Poetry for Students)

"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" was first published in a collection of six poems, In Country Sleep. In A Reader's Guide to Dylan Thomas, William York Tindall points out that the "ritualistic repetition" of the refrain in the villanelle is the ideal expression for Thomas's theme. Tindall discusses each of the four types of men who face death in the stanzas, identifying the wise men as philosophers, the good men as moralists, and the wild men as hedonists. Grave men, he believes, are "the most important of all—the climax toward which the poet has been working." They represent poets, and ultimately Thomas's own father, who was blind in his last years. Tindall ends his comments with an ironic...

(The entire section is 246 words.)