Study Guide

Ulysses Exploration

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Ulysses is like that guy you once knew who was totally happy taking whatever he could fit in his backpack and setting off for Europe, or Africa, or any other sprawling land mass. On one of those trips he got lost, was presumed dead, but later made it back home; now he's on his way out the door again because he's not done looking for new places. Ulysses knows he might die, but the search, the process of exploring, satisfies him in ways that nothing else can.

Questions About Exploration

  1. Would you be scared embarking on an exploration of an unknown territory?
  2. What is that makes people want to continue exploring and searching?
  3. Why does Ulysses feel the need to keep exploring? Is he looking for something, or does he just like being on the move and seeing new places?

Chew on This

Ulysses wants to seek a "newer world," by which he means a world that isn't as ancient as his own; he wants to find a less primitive place where people are less animalistic than they are on Ithaca.

Ulysses is an explorer but also a colonizer; he doesn't only want to see new places, he wants to take what he can from them.

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