Sonnet And Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

2802 words - 11 pages

Sonnet and Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

how how the writer uses the form of poetry to protest against a
situation or an attitude and reveal how successful you think he or
she is. Sonnet & Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Sonnet by John Donne and Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by
Dylan Thomas are two poems about death that seem to convey very
different messages. These poems are obviously written by two men with
two very different perceptions of death. Both poems are protest poems
and challenge ideas that would have been instilled in the writers from
an early age. Donne ,who was a priest, would have been brought up in a
society where death was feared and at a time when there was much
religious debate about where the "soul" goes after death but in his
poem he writes that death has no reason to be "proud" because it is
not so "mighty and dreadful" as people fear. This is an idea that
contrasts greatly with Thomas' poem. Thomas was brought up in a strict
religious environment and he would have been taught the ideas that are
present in Donne's poem, that death is just the "soul's delivery" and
would be like going to sleep , that death is not the end but simply a
way on towards heaven . However, Thomas' poem contradicts this idea
saying that death is something that everyone should "burn" and "rave"
against, this poem shows a very angry and resentful conception of
death. The idea behind both poems is that the authors are protesting
against death, about how death is seen and how death is treated by
people, as well as protesting against how they have been taught to
treat death which makes these poems very powerful.

Sonnet is written in the form of a sonnet which is ironic as this form
of poetry is usually used when writing about love, not something so
sombre as death. It has a regular rhyming pattern and flows quite
easily making it easy to read. Donne uses personification to describe
Death, in fact the whole poem is written as though it was a speech to
be given to Death, an impossible idea if we could not think of death
as a person. This contrasts with Thomas' idea of death which he
describes, ironically, as "that good night". This is ironic because
throughout the poem Thomas makes it clear that he does not perceive
death as a "good night" but something to "rave" against and he is
using how other people, such as Donne himself, see death to help prove
how wrong they are.

Whereas Donne personifies Death Thomas does the opposite he describes
death as "the dying of the light" and purposely seems to make death
into something that people have no warm feelings for, night which is
dark and unknown, a thought that is not at all comforting. As Sonnet
continues Donne appears to begin to pity Death, this "slave to Fate,
chance, kings and desperate men", Death who is not so "mighty and
dreadful" as people fear. The idea of Death being a "slave" is an idea
that does strangely make the reader...

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