• 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)

    Indeed Ulysses describes what he still feels he should explore in an interesting metaphor; 'Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough Gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades For ever and ever when I move.' It seems that the poet would approve of Ulysses as Ulysses realises that the undiscovered

  1. Peer reviewed

    Look again at Ulysses and write about Tennysons narrative techniques

    5 star(s)

    These descriptive epithets of Telemachus, "blameless", "discerning", are spoken with an air of indifference bordering on malicious contempt, and become ironic through Ulysses' own abdication of duty, though this does not have the effect of removing the depraved tone. The shortening of the lines when referring to Telemachus also relate

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    3 star(s)

    "Mouth of hell" (stanza 5 line 9) These are uses of personification as Tennyson brings hell and death alive by giving each a jaw and mouth. Tennyson has also used alliteration in many parts of his poem, "Storm'd at with shot and shell" (stanza 5 line 5)

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

    There are no descriptions of him what so ever, which possibly means that she cant remember what he looks like all that she knows is that "he cometh not," Tennyson wants to portray these women as innocent victims of love and provoke sympathy because when the women are this dependant

  2. Alfred Lord Tennysons In Memoriam contains many theological elements debating the confusion between science ...

    The path to God has become dark; Tennyson cannot see Him or the way to get to Him. God, who is represented as a deity of light, has become enveloped in darkness. God is no longer a beacon of hope to the Victorians, but an unknowable void.

  1. 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.

  2. Tennyson, We can not live in art

    There is a superfluity of sensation in the poem, but the language used, which almost seems to relish the depressing decay 'With blackest moss the flower-plots Were thickly crusted one and all:' here in the use of extremes and alliteration, the context, and the strangeness of time in the poem

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