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(An Analysis Of Ulysses In Tennyson’s Poem)

1216 words - 5 pages

Ulysses by Arthur Lord Tennyson has been called one of the greatest poems in the English language. It has been cited as a key motivator to the English people when their country was going through tough times, and spurred them on to make it back on top. So what could this poem have said that was so profound? Actually, Tennyson didn’t say anything about the English people at all. He wrote the poem after the death of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam, which affected him deeply and changed the way he thought. To begin to understand this, Glenn Everett will provide a little background. “He and Tennyson knew each other only four years, but their intense friendship had major influence on the poet. On a ...view middle of the document...

Mark Mantho will give further incite to his aspirations. “He seeks to transcend ‘the sunset’ -- the ebbing of passionate youth, the confines of corporeal time, the boundaries of knowledge and reality itself.” Ulysses also wants to break all of his metaphysical barriers. He wants to defy his age, his knowledge, and time itself in the greatest adventure he will ever endure.
Also, Ulysses can be learned from for his feelings on age in the poem Ulysses. Let’s face it; Ulysses is old at this point. He conceits this point in the poem. However, with this admittance, he makes another intriguing comment. “Old age hath yet his honor and his toil; Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; the long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. (Lines 50-57)” He and his crew may be old now, and they aren’t getting any younger, but he believes they can still manage to go on one more adventure. Ulysses knows that his crew are still the same people they were years ago. Maybe they don’t have as much youthful energy as they did back in the day, but so what? What matters is that they have the intelligence and perseverance to make it. Disha Chaudhry will further confirm this statement. “Ulysses tells us about how he and his troop are not as young as they used to be with half the energy they used to have, but there is still enough left to move them further.” To Ulysses, age is no excuse to skip out on pursuing your dreams.
Lastly, Ulysses can be observed for his attitude toward life in general in the poem Ulysses. We know about his purpose and his thoughts on age at this point, so what can we say about his basic philosophy? Let’s take a look at the last five lines of Ulysses, and that answer should be very clear. “Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are – One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. (Lines 65-70)” This is some deeply moving stuff. Ulysses is inspiring his crew into action...

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