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

Comparing Ulysses and Not My Best Side Explore the Poets use of the Dramatic Monologue

Extracts from this document...


12th July 2004 Philip Murphy By Comparing Ulysses and Not My Best Side Explore the Poets use of the Dramatic Monologue A dramatic monologue is a poem in which a single speaker who is not the poet utters the entire poem at a critical moment. The speaker may have a listener within the poem, but we too are his/her listener, and we learn about the speaker's character from what the speaker says. In fact, the speaker may unintentionally reveal certain aspects of his/her character. The reader often perceives a gap between what that speaker says and what he/she actually reveals, which is subject to interpretation. Ulysses, by Alfred Tennyson, is a dramatic representation of a man who has lost his faith in the gods and in the necessity of preserving order in his kingdom and his own life. The whole monologue takes place on Ulysses' death bed. ...read more.


Not My Best Side, by U.A. Fanthorpe, utilizes three distinct speakers in three different monologues. This poem accompanies the picture by Paulo Uccello called "St. George and the Dragon", which shows two episodes from the story of "Saint George": his defeat of a plague-bearing dragon that had been terrorizing a city; and the rescued maiden bringing the dragon to heel (with her belt as a leash). The poem features a monologue by each of the characters portrayed in the picture: the dragon, the maiden and the hero. It is a free verse poem in which each character is given his/her own voice, and defines three different perceptions of a single event. The poem, essentially, takes an old subject and rewrites the story in such a way that the stereotypes are pointed out to the reader and possibly reversed. The first dramatic monologue personifies the dragon, in which he criticizes the artist. ...read more.


Not My Best Side, however, is a playful debunking of the old stereotypes of a bygone eras. The author has given a voice to three characters that previously did not have one, and we therefore discover their true feelings through three distinct monologues. It is light hearted, even as the dragon criticizes the artist. The language is easier for a modern-day reader to understand and may, therefore, capture the reader's interest more strongly. There is one strong similarity between the two poems, however. Just like in Ulysses, Not My Best Side shows the idealism of the artist. Fanthorpe has said of her poems, "What's important to me is people - even landscapes are important because of what people have done to them and so on. I'm particularly involved with people who have no voice: the dead, the dispossessed, or the inarticulate in various ways." Just as knowing that Tennyson was mourning at the time of writing Ulysses, so does knowing Fanthorpe's idealism behind her works show us deeper insight into the content of Not My Best Side. ...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

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    He makes up silly excuses for his wounds, and people start to think he is quite accident-prone. The love affair is tumultuous. The man, who has never felt alone even in the desert, cannot bear to be without Katharine. He wishes to "burn down all social rules, all courtesy" to get to her.

  2. Compare the opening pages of The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoos ...

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest explores the aspects of mental illness by setting the novel in a mental asylum. The structure Kesey uses, directs criticism at American institutions themselves and was reflected in the populations growing rebellion against being told what to think.

  1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost and If Sleep and ...

    short poem: man and nature, masculine and feminine, emptiness and fullness, movement and stopping, society and solitude, life and death, activity and sleep, and so on. Such familiar distinctions may make us feel at home in the poem, but they may also be disturbing.

  2. How do Arthur Miller and Tenessee Williams explore the blurring of reality and fantasy ...

    This message is repeatedly implored throughout the entire text, when she announces that "He's coming back and everybody has to wait" with a sense of sureness, almost as if she is trying to force the delusion upon herself also. She also addresses Anne near the start of the novel in

  1. Use of a dramatic monologue in Browning's "My Last Duchess and in U.A.Fanthorpe's "Not ...

    I think St. George's arrogance and persona are summed up in one line, when talking to the damsel, saying, "...you can't do better than me at the moment". Whereas the Duke's arrogance is not so obvious, he still is extremely pretentious, "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall".

  2. 19th Century Mystery Stories Coursework

    "Fear, fear, fear that has neither light nor sound, that will not bare with reason, that deafens and darkens and overwhelms." "It followed me through the corridors and fought against me in the room." "I knew it...a power of darkness, it lurks there always...In the dusk it creeps along the

  1. Compare and contrast Tennyson and Elliot's use of dramatic monologue in "Ulysses" and "Prufrock"

    Both poems make references to ageing, Prufrock is annoyed at growing old, he makes points of balding, he also says, "I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker," his time has passed, he is annoyed that he has past is peak and feels he will not achieve anything in life.

  2. An examination of the way that the downfall of a hero is presented in ...

    Macbeth s failure is in harbouring ambition when it can only lead to damnation. His desire to be King is held in check by his sense of duty, but when he meets the witches, he lets doubt enter his mind.

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