Dylan Thomas Figurative Language

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Dylan Thomas’s famous elegy “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” is perhaps the greatest example of villanelle in modern poetry, using death as its focus. Death is a unifier in the sense that no man, big or small can resist their eventual end. However, the author recognizes the solemnness of the concept and connects it to the audience’s fear of losing a loved one. By doing so, the poem taps into the raw emotion of the will to live. This paper will describe how Thomas uses a series of brilliant poetic strategies such as diction, structure and rhythm to suggest that all men, while different in character, should passionately resist the inevitability of death.
To begin, diction is a powerful poetic device used to craft meaningful imagery, metonymy, and figurative language in this poem. In fact, the poet demonstrates this from the very beginning. In the first stanza of elegy, poignant words that stick out are “night,” “burn,” “rave,” “rage,” and “dying” to convey the solemnness of the work of writing that is to follow. Dylan Thomas expertly chooses
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However, at the very end of the piece the father of the author is revealed to be the intended audience of the poem. Only in the last stanza does the reader find out Thomas’s father is on his death bed, and the author, choked up with emotion, begs his father not to die. Only in the last stanza does the author compare his father to the four types of men by implying his current frail condition is similar to the wise, good, wild, and grave men. By using the word “fierce” to describe his father’s tears, Thomas demonstrates how his father feels intense emotion about dying and encourages him not to let go of the will to live. The poem ends by including the recurring first and third line of the elegy at the very end, a powerful conclusion designed to show that his father, like all men, should never easily lose their fighting
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