King Ulysses was the leader of the Grecian army that traveled to Troy and fought in the ten year long Trojan War. “Ulysses” is, essentially, an inspirational speech given to the Greek mariners by their king, after their return to Ithaca. The first section of the poem serves as an introduction to Ulysses’ message, in which he says: “It little profits that an idle king/ By this still hearth, among these barren crags,/ Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole” (lines 1-3). These lines point out Ulysses’ dissatisfaction with his current state of life. Being idle, according to Ulysses, comes with no benefits, and the hearth and crag that he describes as “still” and “barren” is a metaphor for Ithaca. Ulysses is asking the mariners to take heed of his situation and re...
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...no matter the circumstances, striving to be successful.
At the start of “Ulysses”, he was disappointed with how his kingship was going after returning to Ithaca from Troy, but somehow finds a way to turn the tone of his speech around in order to inspire himself, and others, to be adventurous and not waste time on Earth. When applying Ulysses’ final line to the message as a whole, he inspired himself to step down from his kingship, give it to Telemachus who is better fit to be king, and to return to sea where he can make the most of his time being happy while out at sea. After Ulysses took the time to sit down and realize that was not fit to be an idle king, it became clear to him that being at sea is where he belonged, and although time is not on his side, he is inspired and committed enough by the little time he has left to return to sea and live it to the fullest.
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