By: Lord Alfred Tennyson Tennyson’s Life Lord Tennyson lived from August 6, 1809-October 6, 1892, and was a Poet Laureate of Great Britain. He was admired by Queen Victoria, and continued to be admired by her until his death. He had a wife and two sons who continued to publish his literature after he died. The Plot The plot of the story was to tell a tale of growing older and to explain the difficulties of coming to term with that. Literary Devices In his poem, Lord Alfred Tennyson uses the literary devices of allusion and imagery to refer to Greek mythology and to show how bored he is feeling in his semi-retirement. Theme and Tone The theme of Ulysses was dissatisfaction, and the tone was somewhat bored and somewhat irritated. When Ulysses says, “It little profits that an idle king,” it shows his boredom. The poem shows the theme of dissatisfaction strongly in the line, “Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. “ The words idle and aged both show the theme and tone. Poetic Devices Allusion Symbolism When Ulysses refers to Ithaca, Hyades, and Troy, he is using allusion. The lines “That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades,” and “And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy,” show allusion to Greek mythology. Several times in the poem, Ulysses refers to his people as though they are animals. This is because that is what his people are symbols for. Line 5: Ulysses describes his subjects like animals; they don't eat, they "feed" like pigs out of a trough. Oh, and they "hoard" too, as if they were getting ready to hibernate. Some unspecified animal is here a metaphor for the citizens of Ithaca. Line 12: Ulysses compares himself to a lion or tiger, "roaming" the seas with a "hungry heart." One of those animals, or a similar animal, is a metaphor for Ulysses. This shows his people as animals. Poem Interpretation The poem is really just saying how bored he is with his semi-retired life. It means that he is dissatisfied and that he wants more excitement like he used to get from sailing. The last line of the poem truly shows this. “Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” He wants to get away forever just so he won’t be bored. Truly, he just needs a new fun activity. Conclusion Throughout the poem Ulysses, allusion, imagery, and symbolism are repeatedly used. The mood and theme both represent dissatisfaction and boredom. The animal symbolism represents the people of Ithaca who Ulysses sees as boring tiresome and not having a life. He doesn’t want to end up like them. The allusion just show his background of being a king. Works Cited http://www.shmoop.com/ulyssestennyson/dissatisfaction-theme.html http://www.portablepoetry.com/poems/alf redlord_tennyson/ulysses.html http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/3 00 http://www.lordalfredtennyson.com/ The End I hope you enjoyed my Powerpoint !
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