Tennyson, Browning, Arnold

English 203

Dr. Fike


Tennyson's "Ulysses"

  1. Why does Tennyson call the poem "Ulysses" instead of "Odysseus"?
  2. How does the poem relate to Dante's Inferno, Canto 26?
  3. How does the poem relate to Milton's Paradise Lost, I.105-9?
  4. In what way is Ulysses a typical Victorian man?
  5. How are Achilles and Telemachos parallel to Tennyson's late friend Arthur Hallam?
  6. Do you view Ulysses as positive, negative, or some combination of both?
  7. How do you read the lines "Yet all experience is an arch where through / Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades / For ever and for ever when I move"?  Is this an image of purposeful imagination or of futility?


Browning's "My Last Duchess"

  1. What is the dramatic situation in the poem?  What is happening?
  2. What do we know about the duchess?
  3. What is the overall structure of the poem?  In other words, how might you divide it into sections.
  4. What does the poem say about art?
  5. What technical things reinforce the meaning of the poem?
    1. Form
    2. Loaded words
  6. Why does the duke conclude with the image of Neptune taming a seahorse?
  7. How is "My Last Duchess" parallel to "Porphyria's Lover"?


Arnold's "Dover Beach"

  1. What is the poem's setting?
  2. What does Arnold say about the sea?
  3. How does he connect the sea at Dover to the Sea of Faith?
  4. According to this poem, what is the solution to alienation?
  5. Is "Dover Beach" similar or different from the following poem by Yeats?


The Nineteenth Century and After


Though the great song return no more

There's keen delight in what we have:

The rattle of pebbles on the shore

Under the receding wave.


  1. How is "Dover Beach" similar to "Tintern Abbey"?
  2. Is "Dover Beach" a Greater Romantic Lyric?
  3. In "The Dover Bitch," what is the speaker's criticism of Arnold?  Is it a fair one?