"Ulysses" by Alfred Tennyson - poem

Essay by carashepardHigh School, 12th gradeB+, April 2007

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Ulysses is a poem that shows the struggles and triumphs of a man that has suffered, endured and conquered all that has been put before him. Throughout the poem, we can see his character building as he reminisces on his life and what he would like his future to be. Ulysses finds himself and who he wants to be, and learns how to use that towards his future goals. Ulysses is aware of the fact that he will die soon as indicated in line 43 "When I am gone. He works his work, I mine." He is aware that he must leave his wife and son when he passes away, but he is willing to leave them to go on adventures and explore the world. Ulysses exploring doesn't just have to do with exploring the world but also with exploring himself; his emotions, his feelings, his thoughts; they all correlate with travels and adventures.

This is a sentiment that most can relate to, not only in the poem but also in real life. With age comes experience with different problems and situations and with experience comes wisdom. The challenges and life experiences that Ulysses endured and conquered developed his character and heroic attributes which is a belief that most people still harbour in this day and age.

In this poem, Lord Tennyson expresses a message that Ulysses has communicated throughout his travels and adventures; he still would like to seek more knowledge and more experience through his journeys. Even if Ulysses dies in the process, he will always have the personal satisfaction of knowing that he has seen and experienced everything that he could in life. Lines 12 to 14 are "For always roaming with a hungry heart Much I have seen and known - cities of men And manners,