Tennyson red in tooth and claw

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tennyson red in tooth and claw

Quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson: “Nature, red in tooth and claw.”

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"In Memoriam A.H.H." or simply "In Memoriam" is a poem by the British poet Alfred, Lord It contains some of Tennyson's most accomplished lyrical work, and is an unusually sustained exercise in lyric Another much-quoted phrase from the poem is "nature, red in tooth and claw," found in Canto 56, referring to humanity.

The meaning and origin of the expression: Red in tooth and claw

No more? A monster then, a dream, A discord. O life as futile, then, as frail! O for thy voice to soothe and bless! What hope of answer, or redress?

A reference to the sometimes violent natural world, in which predatory animals unsentimentally cover their teeth and claws with the blood of their prey as they kill and devour them. This has the sound of a proverbial phrase which might come from the Bible or from Shakespeare. Search the Bible for 'tooth' and you'll find little other than 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'. Shakespeare comes a little closer and refers to 'an adders' tooth', 'a serpent's tooth' and even to an animal with claws - 'a mad dog's tooth'. The line is in fact much more recent than either of those sources and comes from Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam A.

The phrase red in tooth and claw means characterised by savage violence or merciless competition. Thou makest thine appeal to me: I bring to life, I bring to death: The spirit does but mean the breath: I know no more. The nouns tooth and claw had been used in collocation before Tennyson composed In Memoriam ; for instance, the following is from the description of a combat between a jackdaw and a water rat , published in The Morning Post London of Tuesday 28 th January Thus assailed, the rat immediately stood on the defensive, and, to say truth, made a sturdy show of resistance. The daw, however, was by far too nimble for him, and easily eluded the eager efforts of tooth and claw , by hoisting himself a little way into his native element. Thus poised or hoisted, he again pounced upon the enemy, and inflicted by means of his bill at least one lusty wound before the poor quadruped could rally his forces.

Because there is a near-even split between the two parties in this state, politics tend to be red in tooth and claw come election time. Many want to do away with any and all regulation, allowing for a truly free market red in tooth and claw.
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red in tooth and claw

Red In Tooth and Claw

Verses: Beginning I. Deep folly! How fares it with the happy dead? For here the man is more and more; But he forgets the days before God shut the doorways of his head. If such a dreamy touch should fall, O turn thee round, resolve the doubt; My guardian angel will speak out In that high place, and tell thee all. This use may lie in blood and breath, Which else were fruitless of their due, Had man to learn himself anew Beyond the second birth of Death. O Love, thy province were not large, A bounded field, nor stretching far; Look also, Love, a brooding star, A rosy warmth from marge to marge.

1 thoughts on “Quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson: “Nature, red in tooth and claw.”

  1. What's the meaning and origin of the phrase 'Red in tooth and claw'? of those sources and comes from Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam A. H. H.,

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