Ulysses By Tennyson Lord Alferd Tennyson presents to us in the poem "Ulysses" an old sailor, a warrior and a king who is in retrospection on his experiences of a lifetime of travel. Ulysses' old age and strong will causes him to be restless and unable to be comfortable at home. He chooses a life of travel over his family because that is what he knows best. Because of his faults, we identify with his character. As a result, Ulysses attempts to go on to face a new but familiar journey, not knowing if it would be his last. By connecting with Ulysses' courage he awakens the heroic spirit in all of us. At home Ulysses is unable to adjust to old age. Regardless of his physical body he feels his spirit is still longing for travel. .
He feels as though his wife is too old, and he governs the people with no respect, "Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole / Unequal laws unto a savage race, / That hord, and sleep, and feed, and know not of me"(Lines 3-5). .
Ulysses condescends his own son by describing his timidness to rule the people and how his son is more capable of the common duties. Ulysses boasts with a sense of superiority in trying to reassure himself. "This is my son, mine own Telemachus, / To whom I leave the scepter and the isle- / Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill / This labor, by slow prudence to make mild / A rugged people, and through soft degrees / Subdue them to the useful and the good. / Most blameless is he, centered 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" (Lines 33-43). Being a life long traveler prevented Ulysses from learning any of the responsibilities of being a father and a husband. Instead, he was traveling abroad consoling with kings, generals and gods, traveling to "cities of men / And manners, climates, councils, governments"(Lines 13-14).