Episode 12: Cyclops, ~pp. 287-339.

Important Symbols & Phrases of Episode 12

  • Name changing: Like Odysseus and Leopold Bloom (nee Virag, then Henry Flower), Dublin’s denizens are likely to assume pseudonyms and false identities. We uncovered AE in the National Library. O’Molloy’s employs a fake name when pawning his watch. Douglas “Hydes” behind the name “Little Sweet Branch.” Cunningham doesn’t know if his companion’s name is Crofton or Croftor. There is the anonymous author of the U.P. Even the canine Garryowen rebrands himself Owen Garry. In Dubliners, Gabriel Conroy writes reviews for an Anglo-Irish paper signing merely G.C.
  • The Mother of the Maccabees” and “Last of the Mohicans”: Among the litany of Irish luminaries listed, two refer to Bloom’s Judaism and his role as the last of his genetic name. 
  • “Captian Nemo” and “Thomas Cook and Son Travel”: These travel references call up Bloom’s odyssey.
  • Ben Howth: Memorable in Poldy and Molly’s courtship is the excursion to the Hill of Howth, where Molly first said “Yes.”
  • “What I meant about tennis, for example, is the agility and training of the eye.” …says Poldy to Hynes and Citizen Cyclops with a genuine talent for fostering innocent offense. Campbell observes: “…Bloom supplies the other eye to their balance (the population’s faulty sight).” Budgen goes further: “…the two-eyed man is nothing but a nuisance in the kingdom of the one-eyed.”
  • “the traitor’s son”: Here again, sport and politics converge, confusing the “So-Help-Me-God Keogh” traitor with the pugilist Keogh. 
  • “And every jew is in a tall state of excitement, I believe till he knows if he’s a father or a mother.”: Bloom will become the spiritual father of Stephen before the sun rises. This sentence also confuses gender. That Bloom has both a female and a male spirit will be evident in the “Circe” episode.
  • Calpe’s rocky mount: Gibraltar is the gateway to Calypso’s isle and Molly’s birthplace, the Calypso of Episode Four. In the catalog of saints in this episode, S. Marion Calpensis might be translated “Saint Molly of Gibraltar.” 
  • “…was a bite from a sheep”: according to Tindall, this prompts the tension between the “sheep-keeping Cyclops” and “old sheepface, ( Bloom) the lamb of God.” The insult is more significant when a docile beast does the biting.
  • Vision: Dubliners other than Cyclops and Joyce/Dedalus also suffer weakness of sight. Corney Kelleher is called Wall-eyed. Jury members have” swank glass in their eye” (not merely monocles). A bumpkin might confess to having “green in the white of my eye.” The boxing soldier’s right eye is nearly closed. One-eyed Nelson intentionally holds the telescope to his blind eye.
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