A famous quote from Max De Pree states: "We cannot become what we want by remaining who we are." Whatever it be, people need to grow, make decisions, and persevere; going against the odds and obstacles that get in their way, in order to reach their potential, find their calling, and ultimately find themselves. The road is often difficult, but certainly worthwhile. Struggles, setbacks, failure and regret are often encountered. However, it is the drive for "more", or the "making of a name", whatever that may look like, that pushes people to reach for things they thought not possible. This theme is portrayed throughout Tennyson's famous "Ulysses" and Eminem's Oscar winning song, "Lose Yourself." When comparing the written work of Tennyson to the lyrics by Eminem, it becomes apparent that age, race, class, or profession mean nothing when it comes to "making a name." "Ulysses" and "Lose Yourself" exhibit characters ...view middle of the document...
Eminem is a fairly young rapper, who advocates taking chances, seizing the day, living in the moment, and giving everything you have to give. "Lose Yourself" describes this lifestyle in its opening lines. He asks his listeners - "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to
seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?" This line, in itself, captures the attitude of Eminem's persona: Are you going to play it safe or take a leap into the unknown, discover not only the world but who you are, and reap the possible benefits?
The obstacle Ulysses continually faces in the poem is time. He realizes his expeditions are numbered as he becomes older and more frail. He wants to plan for abundant living in his remaining days; not for dying. Though his life has been exciting and fulfilling, he wants the "little (that) remains" to also be rewarding; discovering all that the world has to offer.
Eminem creates a very precise and specific image of the struggles faced to become a famous rapper. He starts the song by describing his first rap battle. Anxious and nervous, "his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy." He keeps "forgetting what he wrote down" and "the words won't come out."
Being the king is not all it's made out to be, especially in Ulysses' case. He sits around a fire with his wife, making laws for people who have no regard for him. He considers himself to be quite lazy, uninterested in his status and power. He strives for quality in his life, not quantity of money.
In contrast to Ulysses, Eminem sings about wanting to be the "king." He feels "[he] can't provide the right type of life for [his] family." Trying to make money and start a career rapping, Eminem knows he must take the risks and make the changes to give him the chance to better, not only himself, but his family.
To ultimately reach the goal, Ulysses believes he must sail for the rest of his life, disregarding his age and it's affects. He believes it is "(never) too late to seek a newer world." In his last travels, he hopes to be able to "touch the Happy Isles", or in other words Heaven.