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by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ulysses Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Line Number

Quote #4

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew (62-64).

Ulysses accepts the fact that he might die, and he even refers to his prospects after death. When he says, "It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles" he could mean that there is a possibility that he and his men will spend the afterlife in the equivalent of Heaven for heroes, or he could be simply questioning the very existence of an afterlife. There is also the suggestion that he might be able to visit the "Happy Isles" before he dies, might be able to cross the boundary that separates the living and the dead.

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