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Tennyson Vs Homer Ulysses Vs Oddyseus

1665 words - 7 pages

Although Ulysses and Odysseus share similar traits, Homer would not agree with Tennyson's portrayal of Odysseus in the poem "Ulysses". Whereas Odysseus wishes to complete his journey and find relief, Ulysses seeks to continue on a never-ending one.Homer's Odyssey and Tennyson's "Ulysses" have different desires and their desires lead them on contrasting quests. The hero in Homer's depicts Odysseus as a hero in the process of completing a journey home. The portrayal of Ulysses is a hero that has already completed his journey, but he wishes to go back on another journey.Odysseus's longing for his homecoming is wrought with temptation to swerve from his goal but he resisted it due to his desire to return home. He actually left the home of two beautiful goddesses in order to get to his ageing wife and son. He leaves what could be a luxurious home to go back to his home and to add to that, Odysseus also passes up immortality even though that would priceless prize. Resisting the temptation to become something near a god clearly shows that Odysseus's homecoming is still his only goal. "Stay here with me... and be an immortal... I myself know that all you say is true and that circumspect Penelope can never match the impression you make for beauty and stature." (Homer, the Odyssey Pg. 93 Ln. 93)Odysseus's desire to go home even allowed him to become defenseless which is seen many times against his nature. Wearing no clothes seems to be a sign of vulnerability because there is nothing coming between him and the water, which the reader can understand, represents the unconscious. With the last barrier taken away he takes one step closer to his journey. "And stripped off the clothing which the divine Kalypso had given him" (Homer, The Odyssey Pg. 98 Ln. 373).Ulysses desires more than ruling his kingdom, which seems empty to him, he wants another journey. In Tennyson's poem Ulysses laments on the lack of prosperity brought to one who has completed his journey. He speaks of the boredom of an inactive leader and the uselessness of implementing his rule on an unorganized and backward community. His reflection on this proves that he wants to go on another journey. "It little profits that an idle king, by this still hearth, among these barren crags, matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race," (Tennyson's Ulysses, Ln 1).Without the responsibility of kingship he would be able to carry out his desire of another journey so Ulysses declares that he will bequeath his kingdom and power to his son, Telemachus. Ulysses's willingness to bestow his throne upon his son illustrates an effort to another goal the goal of leaving his home and not returning. "This is my son, mine own Telemachus, to whom I leave the scepter and the isle... When I am gone. He works his work, I mine" (Tennyson, 24).Ulysses sounds almost wistful with desire when he addresses the men who he had been with on his original journey as he speaks to them and says they still...

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