Summary and Analysis of 'Ulysses'

1278 Words Jan 15th, 2018 5 Pages
language mood Life to be lived to the dregs
i. iambic pentameter/ metrics
Writers on Ulysses
Background of Ulysses

Ulysses (Alfred Lord Tennyson)
Thesis: Ulysses seems to contain two messages in one: on the one hand, it dramatizes the persona of the self-reliant, independent human (aka Emerson and Nietzsche and fashioned after the god Ulysses of Homer's ancient Greek poem), on the other hand, it seems to be a gloomy prospect of death and the need to accept one's mortality. Yet even death itself is dominated by the powerful image of the self-reliant man. Optimism and confidence shines through, as Helstrom (1972) points out, right to the very end when the author exclaims: "Something ere the end.. may yet be done" (p.96). Old though he may be and sighting the end, the resilient sailor still hopes to catch immortality by memories of his life succeeding his death. Ulysses, as shown by metric, theme, subject, and all poetic stools is a poem that celebrates life rather than one that mourns its end.
The theme of the poem resounds with life, independence, and vitality. Ulysses proclaims that man must live his life to the full, take chances, stride forward, and be an individual and the man himself tells his saga of overcoming oen obstacle after the other. The gulf, the sunset, the sea, the western starts all echo this restlessness and energy, and terms such as "untravelled world" and "sailing beyond the sunset" as well…
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