Monday, 8 August 2016

The poem Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson also brings Homer's Odyssey to mind_ most particularly the movie. The poem speaker in Tennyson's Ulysses disregarded idleness to preach adventure which was tabled in form of dramatic monologue for readers delight.

To create an introduction to the poem Ulysses, I'll briefly say that in 1842, Lord Alfred Tennyson published Ulysses as a way diving into his own imaginative adventure of human aging.

I'll discuss the characters of the king as printed in my past questions and answers and it goes thus:
"The poem Ulysses presents the persona's inclination for adventure, his insatiable quest for knowledge and the desire to conquer in heroic dimensions. In the presentation of the theme of the poem certain aspects of the characters of the king are brought. In line 1-6 the king is presented as an adventurous and restless character whose quest for travels and adventure cannot be contained. He demonstrates pride and arrogance in his assertion that his job is restricted to sitting in one place with an old wife, to administer unfair laws to a set of primitive and idle people. Line 34-44 he is therefore bored and longs for further adventures. In the metaphor in which he compares the life of travelling and drinking from a cup, he maintains that he will pursue and give free reign to his travelling instincts. His journeys have had their fair share of joy and sorrow on him and others to love him.

The king is practical and realistic. He accepts old age and celebrates the virtues that come with it. He is not peevish and complaining but notes "old age hath yet his honour and his toil". In the last section of the poem, he tells us that although they now lack the strength which in times of their youth moved heaven and earth they are still what they are in their old age: equal in temper and of heroic hearts. Even though they have been made weak by time and fate, they are strong in will and determination "to strive, to seek, to find and not yield"

Among other characters of the king, enjoyment of life is not excluded. The king takes delight in the pleasure of the world and he revels in his participation in entertainment activities. He thus laments the state of inactivity and immobility in which there is "a pause" indicating "an end" and "rust unburnished" The king creates the impression that since "every hour" leads to "that eternal silence" it becomes imperative to travel and "follow knowledge like a sinking star/ beyond the utmost bound of human thought"

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


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