Ulysses is a poem in blank verse by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It was written in 1833 and published in 1842 in his well-received second volume of poetry. The mythical hero Ulysses describes his discontent and restlessness upon returning to his kingdom, Ithaca.
About Ulysses (poem) in brief
Ulysses is a poem in blank verse by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It was written in 1833 and published in 1842 in his well-received second volume of poetry. The mythical hero Ulysses describes his discontent and restlessness upon returning to his kingdom, Ithaca, after his far-ranging travels. The poem’s seventy lines of blank verse are presented as a dramatic monologue. It is a popular example of the dramatic monologues, and is an oft-quoted poem. Some see the poem as turning from a soliloquy to an address to the public. Scholars disagree on how Ulysse’s speech functions in this format; it is not necessarily clear to whom he is speaking, if anyone, from what location and what time of day he is addressing. The speaker’s language is unelaborated but forceful, and it expresses Ulysss’ conflicting moods as he searches for continuity between his past and future. In the final section, he calls on his fellow mariners to join him on another quest, making no guarantees as to their fate but attempting to conjure their heroic past. The adventures of Odysseus were first recorded in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and Tennyson draws on Homer’s narrative in the poem. Most critics, however, find that Tennyson’s UlyssES recalls Dante’s Ulisse in his Inferno. In Dante’s re-telling, Ulisse is condemned to hell among the false counsellors, both for his pursuit of knowledge beyond human bounds and for creating the deception of the Trojan horse.
For example, the poem’s insistent iambic pentameter is often interrupted by spondees ; such laboured language slows the poem : Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d’d’d, for ever when I move Observing their burdens, poet Matthew Arnold remarked, the prosome effect of three lines by themselves take up nearly as much time as a whole book of the Iliads. The character of Ulyssers has been explored widely in literature. For much of this poem’s history, readers viewed him as resolute and heroic, admiring him for his determination to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. The view that Tenn Tyson intended a heroic character is supported by his statements about the poem, and by the events in his life—the death of his closest friend—that prompted him to write it. In the twentieth century, some new interpretations of the poem highlighted potential ironies in the poems. They argued, for example, that Ulyssedes wishes to selfishly abandon his kingdom and family, and they questioned more positive assessments of his character by demonstrating how he resembles flawed protagonists in earlier literature. The poem contrasts his present restlessness with his heroic past, and contemplates his old age and eventual death, and longs for further experience and knowledge.