In this poem, Tennyson reworks the figure of Ulysses by drawing on the ancient hero of Homer's Odyssey. Homer's Ulysses learns from a prophecy that he will take a final sea voyage after killing the suitors of his wife Penelope. Ulysses finds himself restless in Ithaca and driven by "the longing I had to gain experience of the world”.
Ulysses says that there is little point in his staying home "by this still hearth" with his old wife, handing out rewards and punishments for all of his subjects who live in his kingdom.
Still speaking to himself he proclaims that he "cannot rest from travel" but feels required to live to the fullest and swallow every last drop of life. He has enjoyed all his experiences as a sailor who travels the seas, and he considers himself a model for everyone who wanders and roams the earth. His travels have exposed him to many different types of people and ways of living. They have also exposed him to the "delight of battle" while fighting the Trojan War with his men. Ulysses declares that his travels and encounters have shaped who he is: "I am a part of all that I have met," he says. And it is only when he is traveling that the "margin" of the world that he has not yet traveled shrink and fade, and stop to push him.
Ulysses declares that it is boring to stay in one place, and that to remain at a standstill is to waste rather than to flourish; to stay in one place is to pretend that all there is to life is the simple a...
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- The Cybernetic Plot of Ulysses A paper delivered at the CALIFORNIA JOYCE conference (6/30/93) To quote the opening of Norbert Wiener's address on Cybernetics to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in March of 1950, The word cybernetics has been taken from the Greek word kubernitiz (ky-ber-NEE-tis) meaning steersman. It has been invented because there is not in the literature any adequate term describing the general study of communication and the related study of control in both machines and in living beings.... [tags: Ulysses]
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