Comparing Do not go gentle into that good night and When I consider how my light is spent

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Comparing Dylan Thomas's poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night and John Milton's poem When I consider How My Light Is Spent

Dylan Thomas's poem "Do not go gentle into that good night" and John Milton's poem "When I consider how my light is spent" were written during times of trouble in their respective poet's life. Thomas was faced with losing his father to death; Milton was dealing with becoming completely blind at the age of forty-three. As each poet struggles to deal with the crisis occurring in his life, he makes a statement about the relationship between mankind and God, the reasons that God gives and then takes away certain gifts, and the proper way to live life. Thomas and Milton ended up with contrasting answers to these …show more content…

Thomas's poem denounces quiet submission to the inevitable from its first line "Do not go gentle into that good night" (1) while Milton presents this acceptance as the only proper way to live. Although Milton begins his poem by questioning God's actions in his life, these questions are resolved through an imagined conversation with the personification of Patience who says "Who best/ Bear his mild yoke, they serve Him best" (10-11) and "They also serve who only stand and wait" (14). Milton's poem contradicts Thomas's by suggesting that to "go gentle into that good night" (1) is not only acceptable but also the proper way for humans to act.

Although Milton and Thomas draw very different conclusions about life as a whole, they share a strong sense of regret for lives wasted uselessly. Thomas brings this sentiment to his poem through his descriptions of other men; he uses "Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright/ Their frail deeds might have danced" (7-8); "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight/ And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way" (10-11); and "Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight/ Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay" (13-14) as examples of who should "rage against the dying of the light." Each group of men is tormented at death by a realization of how

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