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Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

            Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses," expresses a powerful message about life and time. Though it may seem these two would go head-to-head, Tennyson finds a connection between the two in Ulysses' story. Conveying that living life to the fullest is a journey that can only be ended by death; age doesn't put a stop to you fulfilling your aspirations in life and time is on your side. Because the poem was written shortly after Tennyson's close friend, Arthur Henry Hallam, died some may see a connection between Ulysses and Tennyson. "Ulysses" is a testimony of Tennyson's commitment to keep living and writing, even after suffering such a tragic loss. Though the poem contains multiple types of poetic elements, there were two that seemed to really support Tennyson/Ulysses' argument: imagery and symbolism. Along with having an intimate connection with his poem, Tennyson leans on the effects of imagery and symbolism as his support to help state his claim. .
             Like "Memoriam," this poem is a lament (expression of grief or sorrow) for loss of Tennyson's close friend. Ulysses, in other words, symbolizes Tennyson during his time of grief and him taking the high road, to move on despite being aware that "death closes all" (line 51). Seeing himself as an aging man who had been stripped of the desire for adventure, while facing the fast-approach of death, the poet chose to keep on living and writing. With the hope of one day getting to see "the great Achilles," (line 64) represented as Hallam, Tennyson had to commit to living. This idea is supported by Tennyson's comment, from Hallam Tennyson's Alfred, Lord Tennyson: A Memoir, that "Ulysses" revealed his "feeling about the need of going forward, and braving the struggle of life" after Hallam passed away.
             In "Ulysses" there are many poetic devices that Tennyson uses to portray vivid imagery such as, metaphor, simile, and personification.

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