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By Alfred Tennyson

Omar Antabl

About Alfred Tennyson
The legend of Ulysses
Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson
Who is the narrator? & Who is he addressing?
Where do these events take place?
How are the four sections of this poem
How is this poem a reflection of Alfred

Alfred Tennyson
(1809 1892)
Born on August 6, 1809, in

Somersby, Lincolnshire,
The fourth of twelve

children, showed an early

talent for writing.
He escaped home in 1827 to

attend Trinity College,

He succeeded Wordsworth

as British Poet Laureate in

At the age of 41, Tennyson

had established himself as

the most popular poet of the
Victorian era.

The Latin

equivalent of
the Greek
He was the king

of Ithaca, a
Greek island.
He was The Hero of Homer's epic poem
the Odyssey.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses"

presents an aging king who has seen too
much of the world to be happy sitting on
a throne idling his days away.
Tennyson penned "Ulysses" after the


By Alfred Tennyson

This poem is written as a dramatic
The lines are in blank verse, or unrhymed
iambic pentameter.
Many of the lines are enjambed, which
means that a thought does not end with
the line-break.
The poem is divided into four paragraphlike sections, each of which comprises a
distinct thematic unit of the poem.

Who is the
Who is he

Who is the narrator?

Who is he addressing?
Ulysses is the speaker in this poem.
Ulysses seems to speak to himself in the
first two paragraphs.
In the third paragraph he turns to an
audience as he introduces his son,
In the last section, he addresses the

Where do these events

take place?

Where do these events

take place?
The poem takes place in several
places in Ithaca:
The hearth in Ulysses' palace or castle.
The port.
By the ship (with the mariners).

How are the

four sections of
this poem

How are the four

sections of this poem
Theyre divided into four emotional stages,
which Ulysses moves through:
Ulysses expresses his lack of contentment, including
his indifference toward the "savage race" (line 4) that
he governs.
Ulysses contrasts his restlessness and boredom with
his heroic past, He contemplates his age and
eventual death. and longs for further experience and
His son Telemachus will inherit the throne that
Ulysses finds burdensome.
Ulysses turns his attention to his mariners and calls
on them to join him on another quest, making no
guarantees as to their fate but attempting to conjure
their heroic past.

How is this poem a

reflection of Alfred

How is this poem a

reflection of Alfred
This poem was composed in the first few
weeks after Tennyson learned of the death
of his dear college friend Arthur Henry
Hallam in 1833.
Ulysses, who symbolizes the grieving poet,
proclaims his resolution to push onward in
spite of the awareness that death closes
all (l.51).
As Tennyson himself stated, the poem
expresses his own need of going forward
and braving the struggle of life after the
loss of his beloved Hallam.

Ulysses references Greek Mythology multiple times as way
to remind us of his heroic past and give us a sense of his
future ambitions:
Reference to Troy (l.16)
strove with Gods (l.53)
Happy Isles (l.63)
Achilles (l.64)

Ulysses believes theres plenty left to explore in the world:

He compares life to an arch and explains that the untraveled
world gleams through it (l.19-21)
He intends to sail beyond the sunset (l.60)

Theres a condescending tone in his description of his

subjects. Also, when hes talking about his son.
Ulysses pejoratively compares his subjects to animals. They
feed and hoard (l.5), and he believes they should be
subdued. (l.37)

The poems final line, to strive, to seek, to find, and
not to yield, came to serve as a motto for the poets
Victorian contemporaries:
The poems hero longs to flee the tedium of daily life
among these barren crags (l.2) and to enter a
mythical dimension beyond the sunset, and the baths
of all the western stars (l.6061)
Ulysses was a model of individual self-assertion and the
Romantic rebellion against bourgeois conformity.

Ulysses, deals with the desire to reach beyond the

limits of ones field of vision and the mundane details
of everyday life:
Ulysses cannot rest from travel and longs to roam the
globe (l.6).
Ulysses hungers to explore the untraveled world.

References tennyson
LordAlfredTennyson.jpg.html Odysseus DMonologue.html
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