Alfred Lord Tennyson Research Paper

Topics: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses, Victorian era Pages: 4 (1213 words) Published: November 28, 2010
Hayes, Sless 1
Danny Hayes and Julian Sless
Mr. Bruner
English 9 B

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Facing with many hardships throughout his life, Tennyson used “Ulysses” to express his feelings about “going forward and braving the struggle of life” (Napierkowski 277). Tennyson’s father’s death in 1831 forced him to return home to take care of his family’s needs. During this time he struggled from poverty and his two brother’s mental illnesses. Although he faced these problems, Tennyson’s outlook on life improved as he adjusted to his new domestic duties, regained contact with friends, and even published his 1832 Book of Poems. News of the death of his close friend Hallam struck just as things seemed to get better. The domestic problems as well as the death of a close friend lead to the outburst of Tennyson’s emotions expressed in a previously created character, “Ulysses.” Tennyson based “Ulysses” on the influence of mythology. He used many elements from Greek and Roman classics in his work. Ulysses appears in poems the “Odyssey” by Homer, where he demonstrates his lust for adventure refusing to settle down. Although Dante’s “Inferno” also portrays Ulysses quest for knowledge, the spirit of the poem has the main impact

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on Tennyson. He used Greek mythology “to declare, and bless, his thoughts to his satisfaction” (Guretzki). Mythology “added to the dignity and charm of his poetry…bringing it to a heroic, majestical expression, a lovely touch of reminiscence, and a seal of confident authority” (Guretzki).

As the Victorian era declined Tennyson, the representative of the Victorian style of poetry, opened a fresh post-romantic period in history by utilizing “Ulysses” to show that to successfully rule, there must be a connection between a king and his subjects. During the time of the initial Victorian age, Queen Victoria used her character and moral standards to restore the prestige of the British monarchy. In the poem,...

Cited: "Alfred Tennyson 's "Ulysses"" The Victorian Web: An Overview. Web. 17 May 2010. 
British Writers. Vol. IV. Collier Macmillan, 1981. Print.
Everett, Glenn. "Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Brief Biography." Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Brief Biography. Glenn Everett, 30 Nov. 2004. Web. 21. Mar. 2010
"The Odyssey vs. Ulysses." The Odyssey vs. Ulysses. J.S. Stephens. Web. 16 May 2010. 
Poetry For Students. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Print.
"RPO -- Alfred Lord Tennyson : Ulysses." Representative Poetry Online. Web. 17 May 
Tennyson 's Use of the Ulysses Myth. Joe Guretzki. Web. 16 May 2010. 
"Ulysses Summary & Study Guide - James Joyce -" Ulysses. Web. 18 May 2010.
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