Analysis of Ulysses
Alfred Tennyson, a British poet, wrote the poem, Ulysses, In 1833 as a literary work that would serve to Implicate the Importance of education In the lives of the British. In the poem, he uses the roman character Ulysses thoughts and his experiences as a Ana warrior and a King to impose onto the 18th century British the idea that education plays an important role in a prosperous country and that one should embrace the dual act of education dillydallying the mind and developing morals to better the people’s lives.
To achieve this, Tennyson expresses the central idea of the importance of education through many symbols, metaphors and literary allusions. Throughout this poem, Tennyson uses many metaphors to voice his opinion on the uneducated world. He refers to life as an “… Arch whereto’ gleams that undervalued world whose margin fades forever and ever when I move. ” meaning that there Is a world beyond this one which represents the unknown or that which can be discovered that gleams through this arch and calls out for him to find it, leaving him restless and anxious to leave.
He portrays himself as an animal “roaming with a hungry heart” for knowledge and education, always searching for enlightenment, and intends to sail “beyond the sunset” which is a metaphor for that which is beyond this universe. He wishes to dominate the unknown and better his knowledge so that he can change the world. He believed much of what Tennyson attempts to say throughout the poem which Is: learning Is life. Knowledge Is unconquerable and to become invincible in the name of intellect is how you conquer the world.
Symbolically, Ulysses represents intelligence. He is known as the smartest man on Earth and consequently has become a “name”. This means that Ulysses name is so known and related to acuity that If someone were to call you by his name, It would rev as a great compliment Implying that you have brilliant Intellect and Just as him, the smartest man in the world. Ulysses achieved his greatness through exploration and the pursuit of knowledge through travel. He refused to “rust unfurnished, not to shine In use” because he knew he would not prosper that way.
Tennyson included this line Into the poem to relay the message to the British that lounging around serves as useless in this world today as wisdom teeth. In order to make something out of life you must be willing to get up and work for it. You must feel a certain thirst or knowledge and go to great lengths to find it. He imposed this idea onto his readers with Ulysses action of handing the throne over to his son, while he left on the search for more knowledge. He sacrificed his status as King because he knew that it would do him little good to stay as their king when his heart lied elsewhere.
It little profits that an idle king, by this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match’s with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, that hoard, and sleep, and know not me He, Instead of royalty, would play his role as a researcher and supply his son, Telemeters, with the necessary knowledge to teach his savage people right and 1 OFF his travels and his hut for enlightenment. Aside from Metaphors and Symbols, Tennyson also put literary allusions to use in his poem, Ulysses.
The entire poem alluded to the ancient Greek hero of Homer’s Odyssey who was a warrior who fought in the Trojan war. He referred to this war in the poem stating that his experience with it never left him, but became a part of who he was. “Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am a part of all I have met. ” Each time he learns something, he doesn’t apply it to what he needs at that moment and eves on with life. He keeps it and lets it change him into someone better, someone much brighter, and with this war he did Just that.
He was smart enough during this time to win the war by comprising an idea to make a Trojan horse filled with Trojan warriors and present it to the enemy as a gift, only later to have his country’s soldiers destroy the city from within it’s walls. It was the smartest idea anyone ever came up with because it ended a war that lasted for several years. With this allusion Tennyson proved that with education you can become someone important. Someone with a mind capable of changing lives of others. You gain the power to understand something so well that you can make a difference in the world, but it doesn’t take Just that.
You have to have morals, and understand what is right and wrong. In that battle Ulysses had to make a decision that would take may lives,but had to choose the option that presented the greater good. He wanted to end the war so that hundreds of men could go back to their homes and lay down with their wives at night, and wake to provide for their families. With this allusion, Tennyson voiced that with that knowledge you gain, you have to know what to do with it. You accept a certain accessibility to do the right thing when you receive education.
Tennyson central idea of the importance of education applies to the educational goals of the United States. Obama stresses that, “If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible -? from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career. ” implying that education is important and necessary for a nation to achieve prosperity. It has always been important for a nation to seek out knowledge because without it there would be no lights, no cars, no advanced genealogy.
Tennyson idea was that knowledge is how we as a people move out of the darkness and into the light to see bigger brighter things, and to provide the future with a sound, Just system of morality and a structured, disciplined way of thinking that leads the world to a place of steady progression, where quality of life for all has improved and new ways of thinking have put us in a prosperous position. Through his literary allusions, metaphors and symbols he shed light upon the world as flawed as it was and saw an solution to the problem: education.
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