Discuss Dylan Thomas' treatment of the theme of love in Under Milk Wood

Essay by english_summer May 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 32 times

In Under Milk Wood the theme of love is very prominent. For the characters in the book it plays an important part of their lives, and adds both humour and tragedy to the play.

The interaction between married couples is one way in which Dylan Thomas adds humour to the play. It is the lack of love that is so comical. For example Mr. Pugh as he brings his wife her tea says to himself '"here's your arsenic, dear."' and throughout the play is plotting ways to murder his wife, although he never is actually brave enough to go through with his plans.

Love is clearly important with the younger members of the town of Llaregub. Mae Rose Cottage and Lily Smalls both dream of falling in love and for '"Mr Right."' Even the children of the town play kissing games, one girl, Gwennie, taunts boys to '"Kiss me in Gosegog Lane."'

as part of a game.

The way in which Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard treats her husbands, although they are both dead is also very comical. She treats them like servants, ordering them to '"dust the blinds"' and '"search the peke for fleas."' Despite the fact she tells them '"I love you both."' The audience feels sure that she only says this for appearances sake and that she does not mean it. The terror and horror in Mr Ogmore and Mr Pritchard's voices when they reply to her show that they certainly do not love her back.

The delight that Mr Beynon takes in tormenting his wife is another example of the ways in which Thomas makes love comical. Mr Beynon tells Mrs Beynon that '"We're eating pussycat."' And that '"Yesterday we had mole."' What makes it even more humorous is that Mrs Beynon stoutly believes him, although Lily, the maid...