Literature is derived from other literature. This is the case for your Ulysses in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses". This Ulysses is based on the character originally created by Homer in The Illiad and The Odyssey. He was a great greek king who fought heroically and with great military strategy. Known for a close relationship with the gods, we see his character reappear in Dante's Inferno. Although Homer in his tale sends Ulysses home, Dante makes him remain in the Land of the Dead. Dante paints a picture of himself in discussion with Ulysses over the abuse of power.
Finally we learn that Tennyson's Ulysses never took Dante's route, but after he arrived back in Ithaca was bored, unfulfilled and dissatified. Although his wife had waited for him all those years, she is now not as intriguing to him, nor is the power of a throne.
His character is still the heroic leader and cheerleader of his troops, but here we see him long for adventure, even adventure that risks his life.