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Show 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.

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Introduction

English Poetry Coursework. Show 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. ...read more.

Middle

to make the reader feel as detached from death as possible, for him it should be something unknown and therefore something to be feared, the opposite of what Donne aims to do. However, even when using metaphors for death he doesn't use capital letters, he does not show any respect for death or to give it any importance. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is written in 6 Stanzas, each with three lines apart from the last verse which like sonnet ends dramatically and with emphasis put on it, this four line verse ends with both of the repeated lines that have been used alternately throughout the poem: "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" and "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." This use of repetition throughout the poem has made these two lines very important and the fact that they are both used to conclude the poem is, as in sonnet, a defiant summary of his emotions towards death. Thomas' poem uses many oxymorons to describe death and those who experience it, such as "blinding sight" or "curse, bless ,me now with your fierce tears". These contradictory ideas may be there to make the poem more difficult to understand, just as Thomas has difficulty understanding death and why people just accept it. This poem was also probably written during a time when Thomas was very confused about death and angry and resentful at the death of his father, mentioned in the last verse. If Thomas was brought up to be religious then possibly his father was and this is why Thomas is so frustrated, his father may be accepting death too readily which would explain Thomas' frustrated pleas for him to "curse" death or to show any real, raw emotion. Both poems agree that death is inevitable, that everyone must die. Thomas' poem is not saying that you should fight against death in the hope that you won't die, he acknowledges that "wise men", "good men", "wild men", "grave men" and even his own father must all die. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here Thomas talks about his own father who is "there on that sad height" (Thomas again uses imagery avoiding using the word death). The poem suddenly becomes much more personal as we realise that Thomas is no longer talking about men in general but his father and it becomes clear where the frustration and anger in this poem stems from. This poem is written to persuade people to "rage against the dying of the light" while Thomas is trying to convince his own father to do so. These two poems are well written and persuasive, the writers manage to make their way of thinking understandable to anyone reading their poems. Sonnet is a poem that defies peoples natural instinct to be scared of death and uses language to enforce his point. On the whole Sonnet seems a lot more planned, it is clever but understandable and uses techniques like personification to make it easy for the reader to identify with the poem. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night in comparison is a more raw and emotional poem, it was written when the author was obviously in turmoil and this shows in the passionate style of writing. This poem also uses imagery but not in the same way as Sonnet, it's images are not really for the reader to relate to, they are fantastic, they do not really seem real but that is the point, death to Thomas is something unknown and something to dread. Thomas' poem seems much more messy than Sonnet, it is contradictory and it is not easy for the reader to understand, they must study it in more depth to get an idea of what it is really about, this however only makes the poem more interesting and realistic because it seems to be straight from Thomas' mind , a jumble of thoughts that seems just to have spilled onto the page. These two poems are forms of protest and both authors have shown that poetry is an excellent way to speak out because these poems are persuasive and convincing arguments for both their very different views. ...read more.

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