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However, certain critics maintain that it is a soliloquy as it does not adhere to all the constraints of the dramatic monologue. It does not really become clear as to who the auditor is. At times, it comes across as a soliloquy and sometimes it appears as a public address. The poem was published in Tennyson's second volume of Poems In the eleventh book of T he Odyssey , the prophet Tiresias predicts that Ulysses will go back to Ithaca after a tedious expedition. Subsequently, he would undertake a new, enigmatic voyage, and would later die a peaceful, "unwar-like" death that comes vaguely "from the sea".

Robson writes that the poem brings in together the two conflicting sides of Tennyson — the "responsible social being" and the "melancholic poet". Though they come together in the text of the poem, they do not recognize each other. Furthermore, Tennyson wrote Ulysses after the death of his Cambridge friend, the poet Arthur Henry Hallam, who was extremely dear to him. The idea of his protagonist transcending an age in such a circumstance was symbolic of him defying his own circumstances.

A Literary Analysis of “Ulysses” by Alfred Tennyson

Hence, he utilizes such a myth to mirror his anxieties at the moment. Tennyson states, "There is more about myself in Ulysses , which was written under the sense of loss and that all had gone by, but that still life must be fought out to the end.

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It was more written with the feeling of his loss upon me than many poems in In Memoriam. Stanza 1. The metaphor is employed to comment on his own condition.

From the SparkNotes Blog

Like a fireplace, it no longer carries the flame in it, only the ashes of a once fiery lifestyle. The phrase "barren crags" points to the island of Ithaca in the kingdom of Ulysses: a limestone ridge seventeen miles long and four miles broad at its widest, singular for its ruggedness and barrenness, and considered unhealthy for cultivation.

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  • Here, it alludes to the weighing of decisions mentally. There were no uniform laws at the time to deal with people fairly. Wheeler points out "In early time, there were no laws of general application; each case was decided on its own merits' ……with advancing civilization people began to see the necessity for "equal laws", or rather hard and fast rules to which all must conform….. But as the lawyers say, hard cases make bad law.

    Understanding Tennyson's "Ulysses"

    They are intellectually stagnant. On the other hand, Ulysses aspires to live life to the fullest, to the lees.

    In A Nutshell

    Eventually, as he did make it to the island of Ogygia, and as he encountered Alcinous, he was all alone. Ulysses states that he enjoyed indulging in exploits both alone and with company. This Shmoop Poetry Guide offers fresh analysis, a line-by-line close reading of the poem, examination of the poet's technique, form, meter, rhyme, symbolism, jaw-dropping trivia, a glossary of poetry terms, and more. Best of all, Shmoop's analysis aims to look at a topic from multiple points of view to give you the fullest understanding.

    Experts and educators from top universities, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Harvard, have written Shmoop guides designed to engage you and to get your brain bubbling. Shmoop is here to make you a better lover of poetry and to help you make connections to other poems, works of literature, current events, and pop culture. Show More Show Less.

    A Literary Analysis of "Ulysses" by Alfred Tennyson

    Hammond , Paperback Singer , Paperback The residents of Ithaca are described as uncultivated people that just eat and sleep a Cite This Page. Logging out…. Logging out You've been inactive for a while, logging you out in a few seconds I'm Still Here!