Ulysses is a classical hero who reappears in the literary work of great poets such as Homer and Tennyson. During the Victorian era, Alfred Lord Tennyson was one of the most famous poets in England, he even held Britain’s prestigious position of Poet Laureate. Tennyson began writing during a period in which duty and conformity were traits that distinguished the middle class from the lower class. In a two-volume collection of “Poems,” Tennyson writes “Ulysses” after the death of a close friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallam inspired the character Ulysses, while the loss of the special friendship influenced the tone of the piece. The Ancient Greek hero describes his loathing of regal position and desire to travel before his impending death. Amongst the underlying grief, Tennyson utilized the poetic form of dramatic monologue to protest the social values of the era. In the poem “Ulysses,” Tennyson expresses his view on the need for individual assertion and rebellion against bourgeois conformity, the result is the development of a very self-righteous character that places more value on himself than the external world.
Ulysses longs for a journey of the mind and soul “to follow knowledge like a sinking star” (Tennyson 31) and leaves behind the responsibility of his kingdom. Ulysses seems to feel unimportant when he is at home by his “still hearth”, “among barren crags” (Tennyson 2). He would rather be experiencing “the drunk delight of battle” (Tennyson 16) than spending time with his “aged wife” (Tennyson 3). Ulysses explains his motivation: “I cannot rest from travel, I will drink/ Life to the lees” (Tennyson 6-7). Ulysses feels he is living without truly being alive and only memories from his pa...
... middle of paper ...
...strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” (Tennyson 70), placing a romantic image in the audiences’ head of Ulysses sailing away, and hopeful.
Tennyson, Alfred Lord. “Ulysses.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Christ,
Carol T., Catherine Robson, and Stephen Greenblatt. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.
E. J. Chiasson, "Tennyson's 'Ulysses'—A Re-Interpretation." Critical Essays on the Poetry of
Tennyson. Ed. John Killham (New York: 1960), 164–173
Mazzeno, Laurence W. "Alfred, Lord Tennyson." Critical Survey of Poetry. Ed. Frank N.
Magill. Vol. 7. New Jersey: Salem Press, Inc., 1982. 8 vols.
Robbins, Tony. “Tennyson's ‘Ulysses’: The Significance of the Homeric and Dantesque
Backgrounds.” Victorian Poetry. Vol. 11, No. 3. West Virginia UP,
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The poem “Ulysses” is written in exactly seventy lines and in these seventy lines the poet uses synecdoche, personification, meter, and metaphors. All of these are used in hope of making the last line climatic. The last line is a quotable ending phrase “to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”(4, 70) The indecisiveness of the speaker when struggling to decide whether to stay or leave Ithaca to voyage to the “untraveled world” (2, 20) summarizes the poem. Throughout the poem it is obvious which stance Odysseus’ heart heavily sways towards but it is not till the last line is his decision made clear.... [tags: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses, poetry,]
1116 words (3.2 pages)
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s subject matter and tone of his poetry became drastically different following the death of his best friend (Cain 126), a reaction to bearing the emotional brunt of life without him. This friend, Arthur Henry Hallam, whom Tennyson met in the poets’ club at Trinity College in Cambridge, and who was also engaged to Tennyson’s sister (Cain 126) died in Vienna at age 22 of a cerebral aneurysm (Cash 6). Combining pure emotion and thought into one, Tennyson finished “Ulysses,” one of his greatest poetic works, 20 days after being informed of his death (Cash 6).... [tags: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poetic Analysis, Literature]
1353 words (3.9 pages)
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s epic poem "Ulysses" is composed as a dramatic monologue, consisting of four stanzas each of which frankly discuss the speakers current situation and yearning for adventure. The use of iambic pentameter provides a sense of fluidity to the speaker’s voice. The speaker reveals himself to be the protagonist of the poem with the opening line “It little profits that an idle king” (1). The use of the word “idle” offers the first clue as to one of the main themes of the poem.... [tags: Epic Poem Ulysses]
1204 words (3.4 pages)
- Tennyson's "Ulysses" and "The Lotos Eaters" The great hero Odysseus has captivated readers throughout the ages. It is no surprise that the Victorian poet Tennyson not only read the Odyssey but wrote poetry about Odysseus as well. In the poems 'The Lotos Eaters' and 'Ulysses,' Tennyson remains true to the legends, but he infuses the characters with the ethos of his own day and his own experiences. 'The Lotos Eaters' recalls the Homeric legend that has Odysseus and his men passing through an island that grew magical fruit.... [tags: Poetry Tennyson Odysseus Compare Essays]
1924 words (5.5 pages)
- Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson 'Ulysses' is both a lament and an inspiring poem. Even modern readers who are not so familiar with the classics, can visualize the heroic legend of Ulysses, and so is not prepared for what he finds in the poem— not Ulysses the hero but Ulysses the man. Tennyson brings out the agony felt by Ulysses at his old age, The influence of the Industrial age can be seen in Tennyson's usage of the word 'profits' in the very first line . The character calls himself 'idle' showing his disillusionment at this ripe stage of life .The "still hearth" and "the barren crags" symbolize death.... [tags: Papers Ulysses Essays]
1224 words (3.5 pages)
- A positive role model is defined as a person who serves as an example of the values, attitudes, and behaviours associated with a role. To be a positive role model there are multiple characteristics one must have. To improve the organisation for the good of its staff would be a positive role models desire. They want the business to succeed and always be improving so that the staff can benefit, a positive role model shows commitment to the organisation and the staff. To be a positive role model one must have good judgment and have the ability to see the “big picture”.... [tags: Learning styles, Auditory learning, Role model]
1364 words (3.9 pages)
- A role model is an individual that one aspires to be like in the present or the future. Role models can be a celebrity or someone we connect with on a daily bases. In addition, there are several characteristics a role model should possess, such as: Moral, confidence, hardworking, respectful, optimistic and creative (Freddie, 2014). There are different types of role models in society today, who play great social roles. These are individuals who are prestigious and willing to help others find success as well.... [tags: Role Model Essays]
695 words (2 pages)
- Leadership has a different meaning for everyone. The ability to motivate, set good examples, and persevere through adversity are all parts of leadership. Some people may think that being a leader is only for a select amount people. I see leadership differently. I think everyone is capable of being a leader. There are also various ways that an individual can practice leadership. Obvious examples are the ability to speak, ability to motivate, and the ability to be a good role model. I see the ability of being a good role model and having good character as the foundation of leadership.... [tags: Leadership, Management, Role model, Want]
1453 words (4.2 pages)
- Explication Of Ulysses 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.... [tags: Alfred Tennyson]
676 words (1.9 pages)
- The Role of Loneliness in James Joyce's Ulysses Have you ever had one of those days when the world seems cold and unfeeling. Where the people that surround you are far away and uncaring. Ulysses is about one of those days, and two people who are stuck within it, searching desperately for a way out. Loneliness runs like a thread through Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce. It constantly tugs at the character's minds, and drives their lives in subtle ways. Joyce drives the point home by giving a drab, grey description of the character's lives.... [tags: Joyce Ulysses Essays]
989 words (2.8 pages)
- Situational and Dramatic Irony in Story of an Hour, Everyday Use, The Necklace, and The Lottery
- Cephalopod Communication
- The Sociological Impact of Nanotechnology and Biotechnology
- Health Care Spending in America
- Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is Still Valuable in Modern Times
- Early Homo Sapiens: Uniregional versus Multiregional Theory