Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ulysses - post VIII

The two main influences I can detect at least on Ulysses are Hamlet and the Odyssey. Both of those references crop up in the hallucination passages just before the end of part II and part III

One of the giveaways of the Shakespearian references is the moment when the man himself appears but also the appearance of Stephen’s dead mother but this also has Homerian overtones because when Odysseus visits the land of the dead it is his mother he meets there. Plenty to think about and of course there are those who will happily write a thesis on it all but all I really want to do now is finish the book!

Bullet points between pages 500 – 540

* The focus of the madness shifts slightly away from Bloom, although he continues to be involved and focuses on Stephen who meets his dead mother who urges him to stop being an atheist and repent

* Stephen then gets involved with a debate with an English solider as a mirage of King Edward appears and the solider threatens to attack him if he is rude about the King and there is a good insight into the politics with Stephen describing himself as a green rag to a bull

* Things then calm down and it is Stephen who is involved with the police but Bloom comes to the rescue – he must have sobered up – and defends Stephen and tries to bring him round as the chapter ends Bloom also sees an apparition of his dead son Rudy

* Bloom and Stephen walk off together - the first time in the book they have been alone with each other – and Bloom starts to ask questions about his father and indicates that although he has been around when Stephen has been drinking and in the newspaper office he obviously doesn’t know that much about his personal circumstances

More tomorrow…

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