Ulysses Lord Tennyson Analysis

1409 Words6 Pages
“Ulysses”, a poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, serves as a short autobiography of Ulysses, the King of Ithaca. Narrated by Ulysses, or Odysseus as he is referred to in Homer’s, The Odyssey, he reflects on his past times as a young King that he spent traveling and adventuring. In addition, he also reveals his vulnerable side to his audience, displaying signs of despair brought about by his old age, and a yearning to be an adventurer again. By analyzing “Ulysses”, one would say that the current state of the King of Ithaca differs greatly from the one provided by The Odyssey. In addition, Ulysses is aware of the current state of his life and is disappointed with it. For the benefit of himself, and others, Ulysses conveys a powerful message…show more content…
Ulysses is nearing the end of his speech, so naturally he revisits his previous points. He says: “Death closes all; but something ere the end,/ Some work of noble note, may yet be done” (51-52). Death is the ultimatum, which everyone realizes by this point, but Ulysses must reiterate that it is never too late to venture out into the world. His “purpose” on Earth is to adventure, and he plans on doing it until he dies. In the fifth section, by Ulysses’ word choice and sentence composition, the mariners sees how serious and excited he is about returning to the sea and adventuring. He then says: “Though much is taken, much abides; and though/ We are not now that strength which in old days/ Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are” (65-67). This is another encouragement of Ulysses’ mariners to return with him to sea. Despite age, he believes that they are still able to take part in the adventures they did when they were younger. In the final line of the poem, which has by far the deepest meaning, Ulysses says: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” (68). By saying this, Ulysses refers to himself and the mariners as one entity, “strong in will”, ready to charge head first into any situation, no matter the circumstances, striving to be
Open Document