"Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay..."
"with your fierce tears"
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light.""Do not go gentle into that good night."
The author contrasts "light" and "dark" imagery throughout the poem to symbolize aspects of life and death. Light represents life in its clarity, happiness, warmth and joy. Contrasting death with darkness reveals that death is just the opposite. Death is "dark" as it is depressing and unknown.
The scheme of the villanelle poem is ABA throughout until the last line is ABAA. The meaning attached to the form is to continuously alternate between the two statements repeated about death to reveal the duality of the subject, death. The author conveys and supports both statements about the reality of death and how one should view the process.
The author uses imagery of “a green bay” when discussing the end of life for “good men.” Both green and water (bay) are common uses of imagery that align with life. Alternatively, when speaking toward his father, the author's phrases create a more emotional, violent and dangerous imagery around the idea of death.
"Do not go gentle into that good night"
Thomas compares different men, such as wise men and good men, and how they react to the process of death. This change in the meaning of repeated lines establishes the theme of the poem and the duality of death.
In lines 2 and 3 of the first stanza, the author refers to the process of death as the “close of day” and the “dying of the light. He is comparing life to daytime and conveying that this time of liveliness is over. He also refers to life as day when he expresses that "wild men" are those who enjoyed and got the most out of life.
"Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight"
Further analyzing one of the repeated phrases throughout the poem, it is clear that "good night" is a metaphor. By referring to death as the night, the author uses nighttime as the metaphor to reveal taht death is unavoidable yet undesirable. It is scary and unknown but happens naturally and cannot be stopped.