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Analyzed Ulysses By Alfred Lord Tennyson

This dramatic monologue is a masterpiece. At, we have analyzed poems that possessed monologue before and our reference goes to Analysis of The Pulley by George Herbert. Just for clarity sake, a poem where all the events are narrated by the poem speaker and the words of other characters are placed in quotation marks; such poem is said to possess a dramatic monologue.
Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809 - 1892) alluded to the Homer's epic Odyssey to prove that the poem is adventure driven. Perhaps, one can also consider the poem a parody that aimed to challenge old age and its accompanied weariness and boredom.
"I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;"
From the excerpt above, Tennyson made his readers to see where his concern is based. Claiming that truly he might be old but not accustomed to staying at home and ruling in a boring four walls of a palace
The poem speaker still wants to practice his passion even in his old age; wants to be on
battlegrounds, be on the foamy seas, etc.

Structurally, the poem is not just a dramatic monologue. It is written in an iambic pentameter in form of a blank verse (void of notable end rhyme pattern). The poem was broken into stanzas but unequal stanzas.
In line 1-6 the king is presented as an adventurous character with deep quest for travel. In line 16-17 shows that the more travel the more exposure and experience. It is seen that the poem speaker placed more value on outdoor pleasure than the indoor family pleasure (being tired of the warm hearth and old wife).
In the poem one can see the following themes:
(1) comparison between pleasure and family life
(2) old age and its limitations
(3) beauty in adventurous life
(4) leader in comparison to heroism
(5) death as the barrier to human life

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

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