Analysis of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses" Essays

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The poem “Ulysses” is written in exactly seventy lines and in these seventy lines the poet uses synecdoche, personification, meter, and metaphors. All of these are used in hope of making the last line climatic. The last line is a quotable ending phrase “to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”(4, 70) The indecisiveness of the speaker when struggling to decide whether to stay or leave Ithaca to voyage to the “untraveled world” (2, 20) summarizes the poem. Throughout the poem it is obvious which stance Odysseus’ heart heavily sways towards but it is not till the last line is his decision made clear.
Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” is written in iambic pentameter but makes use of trochees and spondees. As a result, the poem reads not like a …show more content…

The audience is transported to the last scene with enthusiasm from Odysseus. The poem is not broken into two stanzas it is broken into four. It creates a definite divide between the citizens of Ithaca and Odysseus in the first break. The second break is when Odysseus explains that Telemachus is competent in succeeding as heir to the throne. Finally the last break occurs when he decides with elated euphoria accompanied by his mariners that he is leaving Ithaca. It is a gradual climatic climb to the end of the poem not in Odysseus’ decision but in emotional response that Tennyson evokes in me. This is intentional of Tennyson who uses personification, synecdoche and verbs in front of the subject. These are used in the forth stanza to create energy as the poem approaches the climax. In a sense the form of the last stanza leads to the pinnacle of the last line. This is necessary for Odysseus because he earlier established his superiority in all things. Therefore, his speech must speak to the high polluted image he has created of himself. It succeeds by making the last line of the speech memorable and quotable. It evokes this energy that the last stanza has been building in the reader which finally yearns for Odysseus to journey the “untraveled world whose margins fade” (2, 20). This metaphor creates the imagery of undiscovered territory that Odysseus yearns to discover and at the end I am meant to yearn that he will. The image

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