"Ulysses" is a poem in blank verse. Ulysses describes, to an unspecified audience, his discontent and restlessness upon returning to his kingdom, Ithaca, after his far-ranging travels. Facing old age, Ulysses yearns to explore again, despite his reunion with his wife Penelope and son Telemachus. The character of Ulysses in Greek is Odysseus. His adventures were first recorded in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (c. 800-?700 BC), and Tennyson draws on Homer's narrative in the poem; most critics, however, find that Tennyson's Ulysses recalls the character Ulysses in Dante's Inferno. For most of this poem's history, readers viewed Ulysses as resolute and heroic, admiring him for his determination 'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield'.
Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish's "Ursula & the King."