The poem 'Ulysses' by Alfred Lord Tennyson is a dramatic monologue by definition. A dramatic monologue, a genre sometimes identified with Romantic and Victorian poetry, is defined as a poem that has the following characteristics:
1. It is written in the first person, but with a narrative persona that is quite distinct from that of the poet.The narrator of a dramatic monologue often differs from the poet in chronological location, gender, or life circumstances. In some ways it is similar to a soliloquy excerpted from a surrounding drama.
2. The narrator, in speaking to some putative audience, is gradually revealing his or her character to the reader. It is often said that the dramatic monologue is not heard, but like a soliloquy in a play, overheard. Often what is revealed is the opposite of what the reader expects or the narrator intends.
Tennyson's poem fits this definition in that it is spoken in the voice of Ulysses (the Latin spelling of Odysseus) rather than in Tennyson's own voice, and has the quality of being overheard. Unlike many other dramatic monologues, we do not get a dramatic conflict between how the speaker intends to portray himself and what is revealed. Instead, the narrator explicitly reflects on his situation and the need for a final voyage not so much for its overt purpose, but to regain his sense of personal identity as a heroic figure.