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"Ulysses" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

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"Ulysses" by Lord Alfred Tennyson "I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades For ever and for ever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! As tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence..." "Ulysses" is a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson which was written after Tennyson learned about his friend's death, and published in Poems in 1842. ...read more.


Ulysses got educated through his adventures which also disillusioned him, and can be compared to the Victorian people who got suddenly educated through science but it also made them spiritually empty and hopeless. The message which the figure of Ulysses is expressing is that one should keep on dreaming of greater knowledge and seeking for journey and adventure even if they can be found in death. In the ten lines being analyzed it is obviously seen that the hero remains unfulfilled. And these lines show how Ulysses' desire for more experience and adventures is like an endless journey that has no end and there is no hope to fulfil the desire to come to the end. ...read more.


an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed one. Iambic pentameter is commonly used in blank verse as well as Tennyson uses it. Hence, the given lines have a regular meter but no rhyme, though they sound rather regular and musical. The blank verse being used is flexible, with both declamatory style and colloquial rhythms employed in it. The poet also uses a lot of active verbs and this concept directs the reader to accept and understand Ulysses' reasoning and decision. In general due to their mood and literary peculiarities have been mentioned the given lines create both hopeless and optimistic mood at the same time: they are inconsistent. Ulysses knows his journey will have no end, but still is sure that wrong and pointless would be to stop and stay. It is an allegory about mortality. ...read more.

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