How does Ulysses regard his son's approach to life? Which character would you consider the most effective ruler: Ulysses or Telemachus?  

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In Tennyson's "Ulysses," the second stanza is devoted to Ulysses' description of his son, Telemachus. To get an idea of what the king thinks of his son, it helps to look at the second stanza in full:

This is my son, mine own Telemachus, 
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,— 
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil 
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild 
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees 
Subdue them to the useful and the good. 
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere 
Of common duties, decent not to fail 
In offices of tenderness, and pay 
Meet adoration to my household gods, 
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. (33-43)
By reading this stanza, it's possible to ascertain that Ulysses regards his son's approach to life with a great deal of respect. Ulysses obviously loves his son, and he assumes that Telemachus will be able to effectively rule (and potentially improve) the subjects and citizens of Ithaca with wisdom. As such, Ulysses sees Telemachus' approach to life as wise and just, as he has faith that his son will be able to rule well in his place.
 
Since Telemachus appears to be such an ideal leader, it would also appear that he is a more effective ruler than Ulysses. While Ulysses is undoubtedly a great hero and an adventurous soul, he also shows himself to be an irresponsible ruler. He regards his kingly duties as a burden and seems eager to run away from them. Telemachus, on the other hand, appears to be a wise ruler, one who is determined to faithfully serve his subjects. Based on this comparison, it seems fair to say that Telemachus is a more effective leader than his father. 
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