Can someone please tell me what is the meaning of "his eyes burned upon dead Nizam"?

In context

His worn face was without expression, as if all feeling and purpose had withdrawn from it, and only his eyes burned upon dead Nizam.

  • Only his eyes burned means that his eyes were the only part of his face showing any expression. The rest isn't clear without more context. Is he looking at the dead body? Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 7:29
  • Yes he is. That's another example: "Josefa's black eyes burned steadily upon him. Ripley Givens met the test successfully. He stood rumpling the yellow-brown curls on his head pensively. In his eye was regret, not unmingled with a gentle reproach. His smooth features were set to a pattern of indisputable sorrow. Josefa wavered."
    – AN24
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 8:29
  • I think Kate Bunting has given you the best answer. But I am not sure the wording of this image is appropriately expressed. We could speak of him "looking with burning eyes/gaze upon THE dead Nizam". I am not saying the usage is 'incorrect'. From a life of reading English literature, I have not come across this phrasing in the sort of circumstances described and, though I am all for originality, it strikes me as forced rather that imaginative.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


There are a few different idiomatic uses of 'burning' and 'fire' in connection with the eyes.

  • A 'burning gaze' is a strong, powerful stare, usually indicating indignance or anger.

  • 'Fire-eyed' means that someone's eyes display a fierceness, anger, or perhaps zeal.

Given the context of your example, it would seem that the person's eyes are giving away how they feel about seeing 'dead Nizam', while the rest of their face was "without expression". Perhaps as they stared in thought they felt anger or other strong emotions, and only their eyes indicated this.

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