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Literature / Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

A poem by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas about struggling against death, at a time when Thomas's father was suffering from an illness that would be his end. It's related to a Rousing Speech, albeit more of the passionate kind than the stirring kind.

The poem is untitled, with the first line being the unofficial one.

Contains Examples Of:

  • An Aesop: The poem's message is to not give up in the face of despair.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Even though the poem calls upon people to angrily resist the darkness that is death, it makes note that "wise men know the dark is right," and from the first line the night is described as "good".
  • Darkness Equals Death: The fall of night is used to represent the impending death men must fight against.
  • Determinator: The speaker is calling his father and the universal audience to take the example of the wise men and the wild men, who struggled to live until their final moments.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: The Trope Namer. The poem's main aesop encourages the reader to not succumb to despair even when facing that titular 'good night', and to keep going in the face of adversity. While death is inevitable, simply rolling over and accepting it won't do you any good, so it's best to keep yourself going and doing all you can until the very end.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: The third line of the fifth stanza says "be gay" as if to reference happiness instead of the modern use of the term to describe homosexuality.
  • Light Is Good: The death of the light is something to be resisted and fought to the last breath.
  • Rousing Speech: The poem itself is a speech that calls the subject to face adversity and not surrender in its wake.