Free Essay on Ulysses

Ulysses is a dramatic monologue. The character of Ulysses which Tennyson creates through the powerful words of the poem, helps transcend the reader to a state of inspiration. Ulysses position enhances the power of the words. Ulysses was king of Ithaca and leader of the Greek army. He wanted to live his life to the fullest, as he states “I will drink/ life to the lees”. Reflections of my desires are possessed by Ulysses, which makes the poem so captivating. His inability to conform with what surrounds him, his passion for travel and pursuit of knowledge made this poem very appealing.

His discontent with those around him are shown right from the start. Ulysses observed them as a “savage race,/ That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me”. He finds staying at home unsatisfying as these people don’t even know him. Ulysses has changed and those around him are different. I can related with this feeling. The people around me no longer know who I am. We slowly became distanced and lost many of my friends, who believe that material possessions are what truly fulfills one’s life , even if it is at the expense of not going to school to better one’s self. They don’t share this passion for knowledge. They are not moving forward or changing but they are content where they are.

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His travels have changed him, they have become a part of whom he is, ”I am a part of all that I have met“. After starting college, which is a new journey and seeing my opportunities , I have changed in that everything I have learned has changed my way of thinking. They have become a part of me as well. Now more than ever I want to accomplish my goals and as Ulysses felt that he “cannot rest from travel”, at this point in my life I cannot stop my journey I have this need to keep on going to better myself.

At the end Ulysses hopes to be able to touch the Happy Isles and see the great Achilles. In the end of my journey I hope to be fulfilled and to reach such an ideal state of paradise. The line of the poem that is truly inspirational and the most appealing part of the poem is the line “To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”. Ulysses is telling his mariners not to stop at anything to go beyond to reach. In my eyes these are great words to live by. These words encourage me to seek out anything I desire . I leave the poem with these words in mind, thinking that there isn’t anything I can’t accomplish ,if I pursuit it and never stop persisting . While I read it, I could picture myself among the mariners hearing these powerful words, being inspired to reach all my goals. I know that to reach my goals will not be easy. I’ll have to work very hard and push myself and never succumb to any obstacles along the way. When I’m tired not to choose the alternate path that reflects the one taken by the mariners in “the lotos-eaters”. They were lost in a sense of desire for rest and beauty, and forgot why it was all for. I intend to reach my destination whether it is an ideal place or goal. I refuse to live a life of conformity. This does not mean that at times I will not be tempted to enter a world such as the one’s the mariners did, but my aspiration will always prevail. I want to live my life to the fullest.

Ulysses takes me in and inspires with the strong desire he has for knowledge , which only can be gained through experience and hard work. I have come to see that if I pause or waste my life, I would feel as I had no meaning to my life and it would just be a waste. Ulysses expresses these sentiments as he states “how dull it is to pause , to make an end , to rust unburnished, not to shine in use”. I would not be able to stand out, I would just become a body without a purpose among those who surround me. Ulysses expresses his desire not to stand still but to move forward. He states that there is more to life than just breathing “as though to breath was life”, one has to explore life, and live life to the fullest. He knows that life is full of new adventures , there is so much to experience. I would become the “idle” king, in the sense that I would be useless to those around me and most importantly to myself. If I did not experience life and what it has to offer, no matter the struggle. In the poem when Ulysses states “All times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly,”, these words help me identify with Ulysses, and conclude that the true achiever is the one who reaches there goals through hard work and determination . This poem captivates one’s desire to continue the journey of life, knowing that life consist of hard work.

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