The word quest is defined as “a journey of inquest, an act or instance of seeking, or a chivalrous enterprise in medieval romance usually involving an adventurous journey”. (Merriam-Webster Online) It is obvious that those who go on a quest are simply unhappy with what they have, but the reasoning behind that is not so clear-cut. Tennyson’s “Ulysses” is a perfect example of a text that depicts a person on a quest, but there is more to Ulysses. He is not just looking for something; rather he is on a mission and being on a quest is the only thing he can do. According to the poem “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, there are two types of people in the world. The first type is the Mariner, and the second it the wedding guest. A Mariner is an explorer or someone who need to be in constant motion while a wedding guest is happy to settle down and live an ordinary life. Ulysses would be categorized as a Mariner. He is the type of person that cannot be idle. In fact it may seem that he is scared to do just that. Ulysses wants to be a legend, and that is not achievable if one is idle. It is qualities like these that make Ulysses not only a man on a quest, but a questing hero. In “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” the term Mariner refers to an agent who is better suited for the exciting life of new experiences and is looking to find their own happiness in comparison to a wedding guest who is content to just enjoy what comes their way. Ulysses is without a doubt a Mariner. He wants to look beyond what he has and what he knows in order to find more. In order for him to be happy with his life he needs to be in motion, constantly looking for something new and extraordinary. Ulysses would much rather “drink life to the lees” than to live an ordinary life. He is not a man who can simply “hoard, and sleep, and feed” without any type of adventure or excitement. Still, beyond only wanting excitement, Ulysses also seeks knowledge. “Ulysses...
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