Ulysses: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. "He proves by algebra that Hamlet's grandson is Shakespeare's grandfather and that he himself is the ghost of his own father". (p. 21 - Chapter One Episode One 'Telemachus')
    This point is made by Mulligan as he parodies Stephen's interest in literature and philosophy. This is also noteworthy for the critical interest this novel takes in the father-son relationship.
  2. "The son unborn mars beauty: born, he brings his own pain, divides affection, increases care. He is a male: his growth is his father's decline, his youth his father's envy, his friend his father's enemy". (p. 266-7 - Chapter One Episode Nine 'Scylla and Charybdis')
    This is spoken by Stephen and signifies the influence of Freud's Oedipal theory, where the son and father are traditional rivals.
  3. "Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves". (p. 273 - Chapter One Episode Nine 'Scylla and Charybdis')
    This is also spoken by Stephen and this could be seen as representative of this novel, which is set on one day. It should be remembered, however, that Stephen goes on to say he does not believe his own theory.
  4. "Old lardyface standing up to the business end of a gun. Gob, he'd adorn a sweepingbrush, so would, if only he had a nurse's apron on him". (p. 432 - Chapter Two Episode Twelve 'The Cyclops)
    This reference is drawn from the scathing thoughts of the unnamed narrator of this episode and typifies how many of these men are uneasy with Bloom's androgyny.
  5. "Mendelssohn was a jew and Karl Marx and Mercadante and Spinoza. And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God". (p. 444-5 - Chapter Two Episode Twelve 'The Cyclops')
    This is Bloom's verbal reaction to the provocation of the citizen. The citizen responds by throwing an empty tin of biscuits.
  6. "Ought to go home and laugh at themselves. Always wanting to be swilling in company. Afraid to be alone like a child of two". (p. 496 - Chapter Two Episode Thirteen 'Nausicaa')
    This is Bloom's later response to the men in Barney Kierney's (of 'The Cyclops').
  7. "And when all is said and done, the lies a fellow told about himself couldn't probably hold a proverbial candle to the wholesale whoppers other fellows coined about him". (p. 735 - Chapter Three Episode Sixteen 'Eumaeus')
    This is Bloom's internal response to the sailor who is telling tall stories. It is a useful example of Bloom's ability to look at situations fairly.
  8. "People could put up with being bitten by a wolf but properly riled them was a bite from a sheep. The most vulnerable point too of tender Achilles, your God was a Jew, because mostly they appeared to imagine he came from Carrick-on-Shannon or somewhere about in the county of Sligo". (p. 766 - Chapter Three Episode Sixteen 'Eumaeus')
    Bloom's thoughts return again to the men in Barney Kierney's and the citizen in particular.
  9. "I hate that in women no wonder they treat us they way they do we are a dreadful lot of bitches I suppose its all the troubles we have makes us so snappy". (p. 927 - Chapter Three Episode Eighteen 'Penelope')
    These are Molly's tangled, contradictory yet understandable views of the relations between men and women.
  10. "Yes" (p. 933 - Chapter Three Episode Eighteen 'Penelope')
    Famously the last word of Ulysses, as Molly first agreed to Bloom's desire.

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