“Ulysses” is a modern novel by the modernist James Joyce. At the same time “Ulysses” is a poem by the great Victorian poet Tennyson. Today we are going to talk about the hero Ulysses of the poem “Ulysses”.
As per the tradition of Dramatic Monologue, Ulysses is the only speaker of Tennyson’s famous dramatic monologue “Ulysses”. He was the king and the Great Spirit of Ithaka, a kingdom in mythological Greece. He was a great hero of the ancient Greeks. He fought in the Trojan War and won the battle after ten years. His return journey also takes another ten years because he had to fight with some gods and goddesses since they were not happy with him. In these twenty years, he gained much knowledge and experience. He became old. But when he returned home, he was not happy with his aged wife, young son, and the peace of family life. He was soon bored with home life. He becomes restless. Now he wants to leave Ithaka in search of new adventures and experiences. He sets a new voyage accompanied by some fellow mariners. His indomitable spirit drives him to cross the limit of the horizon to enter the realm of knowledge which is still untrodden by human beings.
Though Ulysses is old, he has the spirit and courage of conducting new adventures, fighting with perilous sea, and search for new knowledge. His earnest desire to gain newer knowledge reflects the Victorian spirit of new exploration. Thus Tennyson uses Ulysses as a spokesman of the Victorian spirit.