How do the Greek myths function in Tennyson's poems "The Lotos-Eaters" and "Ulysses"? Why did he go back to Greek and Roman myths in the Victorian age? Does being the poet laureate of the age have any importance on this issue? If so, why?

Alfred, Lord Tennyson used Greek mythology to glorify Queen Victoria and her expanding English empire. Greek mythology might also function as a means to contextualize the hardships that many people experienced during the Victorian age.

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Greek myths function to make a thematic point in both "The Lotos-Eaters" and "Ulysses." Both poems allude to Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. In "The Lotos-Eaters," Ulysses and his men land on an island where the men eat the lotus, an opiate-like magical plant that drugs them. They lose all ambition to return home and want to do nothing more than loll about on the island, enjoying the present dream world in which they live. The poem cautions the British people against becoming too complacent in their position as the world's wealthy superpower. There is always more to strive for.

In "Ulysses," the speaker is the aged Ulysses, who does not want to be put on the shelf or forced into retirement. He is determined to keep on in the struggle with life until he has no life left. It is very much opposite from "The Lotos-Eaters" in its emphasis on the virtues of resolution, hard work, and perseverance that were dear to the Victorian heart.

Tennyson went back to Greek and Roman myths because these...

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