Ulysses

Ulysses

[yoo-lis-eez; also Brit. yoo-luh-seez]
Ulysses: see Odysseus.
or Odysseas Elytēs, orig. Odysseus Alepoudhelis

(born Nov. 2, 1911, Iráklion, Crete—died March 18, 1996, Athens, Greece) Greek poet. The scion of a prosperous family from Lesbos, he began publishing verse influenced by French Surrealism in the 1930s. His first two collections reveal his love of the Greek landscape and the Aegean Sea. During World War II he fought against the Italians in Albania and became something of a bard among young Greeks. One of his best-known poems is The Axion Esti (1959); later works include The Sovereign Sun (1971) and The Little Mariner (1986). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979.

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Roman Ulysses

Odysseus slaying the suitors, detail of a red-figure skyphos elipsis

Hero of Homer's Odyssey. According to Homer, Odysseus was the king of Ithaca. His shrewdness, resourcefulness, and endurance enabled him to capture Troy (through the device of the Trojan horse) and endure nine years of wandering and adventures before reaching his home in Ithaca, where his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, awaited him. Classical opinion was divided on whether he was an unscrupulous politician or a wise and honourable statesman. Odysseus has been one of the most frequently portrayed figures in literature, treated by numerous Greek and Roman poets and by later writers such as William Shakespeare (Troilus and Cressida), Níkos Kazantzákis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel), and (metaphorically) by James Joyce (Ulysses) and Derek Walcott (Omeros).

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or Odysseas Elytēs, orig. Odysseus Alepoudhelis

(born Nov. 2, 1911, Iráklion, Crete—died March 18, 1996, Athens, Greece) Greek poet. The scion of a prosperous family from Lesbos, he began publishing verse influenced by French Surrealism in the 1930s. His first two collections reveal his love of the Greek landscape and the Aegean Sea. During World War II he fought against the Italians in Albania and became something of a bard among young Greeks. One of his best-known poems is The Axion Esti (1959); later works include The Sovereign Sun (1971) and The Little Mariner (1986). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979.

Learn more about Elytis, Odysseus with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Ulysses is the Latin name for Odysseus, a character in ancient Greek literature.

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