When we interpret works of art and literature we are seeking to understand or to appreciate them. We do this by attempting to discover or ascribe on some basis, a meaning in or to the work in question, or to determine what signi�?cance the work has for us. Around this feat of assigning a meaning or signi�?cance to a work of art, many controversies swirl. Some of these controversies will be systematically set out in this chapter. Before doing this, it is worth mentioning why these issues have seemed important enough and uncertain enough to generate so much controversy. Consider this poem from William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience: The Sick Rose O Rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm That ﬂies in the night, In the howling storm, Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy.