Analysis of Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson
In the poem "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the readers are shown a great king in the later years of his life. The reader finds Ulysses reflecting on the glorious days of his youth and planning that by some means he will obtain those glorious times again. He refuses to accept a future of growing old and ruling his kingdom. Ulysses will not let the rest of his life pass him by just sitting still on his throne, doing the mundane job of ruling a kingdom. Ulysses has reached the twilight years in his life and yet he refuses to give in to the fate that time has for all men.
Ulysses states in the second stanza, "I cannot rest from travel; I will drink / Life to the lees."(line 9-10) With this statement from Ulysses the reader is shown that he has become very disillusioned about whatever life his throne could bring him if he were to stay at home and run the kingdom. The reader discovers what Ulysses thinks he has to do with the rest of his life when he states "I am become a name; / For always roaming with a hungry heart". (11-12) With this statement the reader is shown that Ulysses wants to go back to the days when he was always known for his adventuring on the open sea.. Ulysses feels that he must once again embark on the adventure and danger that kept his blood flowing and his spirit content that he only found during his seaward explorations.
Ulysses is obsessed with the way he has lived in the past and will give up anything to regain it. The reader finds out just how far he is willing to go to have one more experience of his courageous youth, when he states, " This is my son, mine own
Telemachus, / To whom I leave the scepter and the isle-". (33-34) With this Ulysses has let everyone know the true shallowness of his character, and has shown a major fault in this otherwise larger than life legend of being a king. He has become so self-centered and full of self-pity that he...