Essay Tiger in the Menagerie


This is the essay about the poem Tiger in the Menagerie we read in class.

Essay question: Explore how the author conveys mixed feelings about the tiger.


  • 2 body paragraphs
  • Deadly beauty →oxymoron (extended throughout the poem)
  • Stanza 1; Repetition of “too” represents an excess of beauty and at the same time an excess of wildness.
  • Stanza 1: “Too much like the painting of a tiger” → contrast between reality (wild) and appearance (beauty)
  • The tiger is sublime
  • Literary devices →Simile, anaphora, symbolism and oxymoron.
  • Explore→ colours, appearance vs reality and “too” to explain the deadly beauty.



   In the poem, Tiger in the Menagerie, Emma Jones conveys mixed feelings about a tiger by describing its deadly beauty. The author reinforces this idea throughout the text by exploring and contrasting its appearance with reality. I will explore, on the one hand, the two colours portrayed in the poem that contribute to the understanding , and on the other hand, the excess of the animal represented and explored by the author.

          On the one hand, the writer, uses the colours blue and orange to explore the sublime of the tiger, as the animal is presented as bright and beautiful, but its dark side may be revealed by attacking. The colour orange is portrayed in the poem symbolising the warmth, perfection and brightness of the beast. However, the authority of the animal is also represented, by the colour blue. The tiger being “Too blue” shows a negative excess of wildness and danger. As the creature is the authority it is always watching, surveilling and controlling. The beast represents the concept of deadly beauty as an extended oxymoron throughout the poem, which is expressed by the contrast of the two colours.

           On the other hand, Tiger in the Menagerie portrays and repeats the word “too” throughout the poem to reinforce the idea of an excess of the animal. The writer comments on a contrast between reality and appearance saying the animal is “too much like the painting of a tiger”. Throughout this simile, the author explores the uncanny of the tiger, as it seems perfect and bright but it is dangerous and can attack without control due to its instinct of wildness. The creature’s too much beauty make us approach without realising it is wild. Nature is extremely dangerous and tricky, it’s excess represents a negative aspect which is portrayed by the anaphora “too”.

In conclusion, the author of the poem explores mixed feelings about the animal by comparing the colours and excesses of the animal described in the text. The writer analyzes the concept of deadly beauty by extending this oxymoron all throughout the poem. In Tiger in the Menagerie it is perfectly developed this idea by twisting from the description of the wildness to the perfection of the animal.

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