In Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses," what do you think Ulysses is determined not to "yield" to?

Expert Answers
vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses,” the title character seems determined not to yield to the following temptations:

* Idleness (line 1)

* Simple domestic pleasures (line 3)

* Merely rote political behavior (lines 4-5)

* Mere physical pleasures, such as sleeping and eating (line 5)

* Settling in (or for) just one place (line 6)

* Settling for less than the fullest life has to offer (lines 6-7)

* Merely resting on his laurels or being satisfied with what he has already accomplished (line 11)

* Passivity, as when he exclaims,

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

As though to breathe were life.  (lines 22-24)

* Complacency in the face of old age and approaching death (lines 25-30)

* Intellectual dullness and self-satisfaction (lines 30-32)

* The simple pleasures of being a father (line 33)

* “Common” ideas of proper behavior (line 40).

* A life without continuing increase of honor (line 50)

* An old age free from work and effort (line 50)