Ulysses By Tennyson

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Ø Tennyson's poem 'Ulysses' is centred upon the mythological character Ulysses, (called Odysseus by the Greeks). Ulysses is especially known for being extremely adventurous and courageous; his life can be said to be a long journey full of adventure.

Ulysses is about to leave his kingdom of Ithaca to his son Telemachus and set out on a great adventure, which may reunite him with his dead companion of the Trojan wars.

Tennyson's choice of character for this specific poem appears quite significant, especially when we learn that he wrote 'Ulysses' three weeks upon hearing of the death of a good friend, Hallam. Throughout 'Ulysses', Tennyson seems to be emphasising the importance of life. The poem seems to be written with a sense of loss, but also with the whole idea that life must be forced on and fought until the very end, despite all that happens.

The mixture of negative words in the first few opening lines of the poem, strongly suggest a feeling of discontentment; 'idle', 'barren crags', 'aged wife', 'mete' and 'savage', combine to help us understand that he is unhappy with his life at the current. He appears to be fed up with inactivity. He talks of feeling completely detached from the "savage race" of people he rules over, they "hoard, and sleep and feed and know not [[him]]". The reader soon learns to see what Ulysses is preparing us for. It is almost as though he is trying to justify why he is doing what he is planning on telling us. He is explaining the circumstances from his point of view as to make us understand exactly why he must leave his people and country behind. He "cannot rest from travel" and will "drink life to...