• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A critical appreciation of 'Ulysses' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ana-Maria Fernandes 12WB A critical appreciation of 'Ulysses' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 'Ulysses' was written in October 1833 after Tennyson learned about his friend Arthur Hallam's death. Ulysses, based on the Greek mythology character Odysseus, longs for adventure, is going to leave his Kingdom of Ithica to his son Telemachus and set out in an adventure which may reunite him with his comrade in the Trojan war, Achilles. The poem is in the form of blank verse, unrhymed iambic pentameter and is a dramatic monologue. In the first part of the poem, Ulysses is listing the problems that he has. Ulysses describes himself as an 'Idle king', which shows he is restless and although he governs, is not getting any satisfaction from it. This description is Ulysses' thought process, as he says how he is 'match'd with an aged wife', he most probably would not say this out loud. Ulysses says how he 'mete and dole unequal laws unto a savage race'. The mete and dole' are beneath him and he wants more king like duties. ...read more.

Middle

For Ulysses, 'experience is an arch wherethro' Gleams that unraveled world whose margin fades for ever and ever when I move'. Through this he is showing us that, the more we know, the more we realize we do not know. The 'margin' is the horizon, which diminishes as we get more distant from it by moving on through life. The repetition of 'ever' show there is so much more to see and do. Ulysses says that it is wrong to 'rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! Here, he is comparing our talents to a sword, saying that we should not let it rust, but use it to the maximum. The exclamation at the end of the line shows his strong reaction to this. Ulysses wants more and this is conveyed by ' As tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life were all too little', which shows that simply breathing is not enough. The repetition and alliteration of 'life', gives the impression of being restricted. Tennyson has made effective use of a caesura in 'Little remains: but every hour is saved' to emphasize the fact that Ulysses is contemplating how much time he has left and what can be done about it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The contrasting images of 'thunder and sunshine' show how the mariners were there for Ulysses through good and bad times. By starting the line with 'Death closes all: Tennyson makes it emphatic and shows how Ulysses wants to make the most of his life. Ulysses says that 'some work of noble note can be done' which will suite him as he has noble qualities. The assonance in 'Long day wanes' and 'slow moon climbs' drags the line down and shows how time is running out. The run - on line 'come my friends 'Tis not too late' shows how Ulysses is trying to win over his mariners, into one more battle. The 'purpose holds', shows that they are soldiers. Ulysses' main aim is to reach the 'Happy Isles' to see 'Achilles, whom we knew'. The 'one equal temper of heroic hearts', shows the strength of the mariners and Ulysses. The last line of the poem ' To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield' is a very regular iambic rhythm and enforces the sense of heroism. In conclusion, Tennyson, through effective use of alliteration and assonance, helps us to understand Ulysses' need for adventure and to be reunited with his friend Achilles. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alfred Lord Tennyson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Alfred Lord Tennyson essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Tennyson create a memorable character in Ulysses?

    3 star(s)

    He seems to think that he is too important to rule Ithaca and look after his family, and thinks very highly of himself.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    A later poet said 'Old men ought to be explorers'. What do you think ...

    3 star(s)

    by investigating the possibilities that await, or perhaps that there is even a kind of glory in exploring. Indeed he says later in the poem 'for my purpose holds to...' The poet would approve all of these things that Ulysses says, as they all imply that old men ought to be explorers.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Look again at Ulysses and write about Tennysons narrative techniques

    5 star(s)

    a shadow of a man, with just the superficiality of a name to back up his previous greatness, his involvement with "a part of all that I have met". He then moves on to talk of celestial imagery filled with gravitas- "Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'/Gleams that untravll'd

  2. Peer reviewed

    "What are the poetic skills Tennyson uses in his narrative poems?"

    3 star(s)

    This makes the audience imagine all the cannons which surrounded the light brigade. He also uses repletion in this sentence which can have an effect of quickening the pace or it may make the reader emphasise the word 'cannon' An example of repetition can see at the end of each

  1. One of the intriguing aspects of Tennysons Ulysses is the fact that he sets ...

    In the third stanza, Ulysses refers to his son, Telemachus, and his statement, "This is my son" may be intended to suggest that Telemachus is standing near Ulysses and that the old man is introducing his son to the people he is addressing.

  2. The poetic monologue "Ulysses" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

    He treats his loyal subjects, whom he ought to rule with the wisdom that should be learned over the years, with such disrespect and shameful disregard that one might think that they had done some grave disservice to Ulysses to earn such a reputation in the eyes of the king.

  1. Why does Alfred Lord Tennyson Make Arthurian world look like the Golden Age?

    The other natures in this poem are about the animals. It shows how small two can be compared to its predator. This is another sign of nature. The poem "Sir Galahad" describes how a knight does not wish to lose all his worldly worth and also how he must resist the temptations he goes through in his quest.

  2. Discussing 'Mariana' and 'The Lady of Shallot' by Alfred lord Tennyson.

    .Night fowl and bats present in the poem usually only inhabit non-residential areas or abandoned structures which show that the grange is derelict and secluded. the only noises mentioned are the clock which also implies that it is very quiet indicating that there are no other sounds to block out

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work