The Meaning of Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The Background
"Ulysses" is a unique poem written in 1833 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the Victorian poet. It was published in 1842.

The Structure
The poem Ulysses is written in a blank verse that contains 70 lines. It’s divided into 4 sections with distinct themes. It’s also presented as a dramatic monologue. There’s no definite rhyme scheme in the poem.

The Meaning
The word "Ulysses" is the Roman name for the Greek hero, Odysseus. He was the king of Ithaca in the mythical story of Trojan War. The king fought for 10 years alongside other characters in the story. He also spent another 10 years to get to his home. The story of this mythical king is clearly reflected in the entire poem. He starts by talking to himself. He get homes and realizes he’s unhappy. He desires to explore more about the world. He discovers he’s always bored staying at home with his wife and meddling with the masses he’s ruling. He prefers to roam about the earth and travel to several places. His adventures expose him to different people with different cultures. He also gets more experience to fight in battles as he travels around the world. He says that staying at home or at one place is simply to rust instead of shining. His spirit desires to encounter new experiences as he travels.
In the later part of the poem, Ulysses turns to an unknown audience and tells them about his son, Telemachus who will stand in his place in the kingdom while he continues his adventure. Towards the ending part of the poem, Ulysses speaks to sailors that have been working and traveling with him. He maintains that, he and they still have the capacity of doing something honorable and noble despite the fact of their old age.

In all, there are unique themes that can be drawn from the poem. Among them include heroism, determination and courage. Ulysses remained resolute and committed to his course despite his old age. He still desired to conquer the world instead of staying idle at home.

Ulysses" is unique poem written in 1833 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It describes the resolute character of king Ulysses who fought in the mythical Trojan War. You can learn more by checking out the analysis of the poem.