Please provide a literary critical analysis of "Ulysses" by Tennyson.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses" is a dramatic monologue, written in the voice of Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey, after he has returned home to Ithaca. In this poem, the protagonist expresses restlessness with the constrained life he now leads in contrast to the heroism of his earlier days. Because we see the poem unfold only through the viewpoint of the protagonists, Tennyson leaves us to make our own judgment about the central decision in the poem and whether it is or is not admirable. OIn terms of literary technique, the paring away of inessentials from the protagonists life to return to the heroic core, is echoed in versification that moves from leisurely and discursive to the strikingly abrupt monosyllables of the last lines, and from an adjective and adverb laden type of construction to pure verbs.