Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses/Scylla and Charybdis/202

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Ulysses, 1922.djvu

Annotations[edit | edit source]

Autontimerumenos     (Greek) Self-Tormentor.[1] The correct expression is Heauton Timorumenos, which is the title of a play by the Latin playwright Terence, after a Greek original of the same name by Menander (of which only fragments survive). There may also be an allusion to Baudelaire's poem L'Héautontimorouménos in the second edition of his collection Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil).[2]

Bous Stephanoumenos     (Greek) Garlanded Bull.[3] In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young man Stephen's school-mates call to him: Bous Stephanoumenos! Bous Stephaneforos! (Crowned Bull! Garland-bearing Bull!). Stephen's name is derived from the Greek stephanos (στέφανος), which means crown, garland, wreath, crown of victory, prize. It has been suggested that Stephen sees himself as the sacrificial beast, garlanded in preparation for the sacrificial rites.[4]

S. D : sua donna. Già : di lui. Gelindo risolve di non amar S. D.     (Italian) S. D: his woman. Sure—his. Gelindo resolves not to love S. D.[5] The source of this epigram is unknown. Gelindo is an Italian personal name; it is possible that Stephen associates the name with the Italian gelido (cold, gelid). S. D., of course, are also Stephen Dedalus's (and Simon Dedalus's) initials. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen writes in his journal: Turned off that valve at once and opened the spiritual-heroic refrigerating apparatus, invented and patented in all countries by Dante Alighieri.[6]

sua donna ... amar     (Errata) The words sua donna should be in italics. amar is the apocopic form of amare (to love), so there is no need to correct it, but in some editions of Ulysses it is emended to amare. The form amar was printed in The Little Review, which published an earlier draft of this episode in 1919.[7]

Stephanos     (Greek) circlet, crown, wreath; circle, ring; crown of victory, prize, reward.[8]

Pater, ait     (Latin) Father, he cries.[9] Stephen recalls Icarus's cry to his father Daedalus as he falls into the Icarian Sea, recounted by the Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses:

Metamorphoses, Book 8[10]

Tabuerant cerae: nudos quatit ille lacertos,
remigioque carens non ullas percipit auras,
oraque caerulea patrium clamantia nomen
excipiuntur aqua: quae nomen traxit ab illo.

The wax had melted: he shakes his bare arms,
But being deprived of his oars he does not feel any wind,
And his lips, crying out his father's name,
Are received by the blue water: which takes its name from him.


Ovid also recounts the tale in similar words in his Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) 2:18-200:

Ars Amatoria, Book 2[11]

Tabuerant cerae: nudos quatit ille lacertos,
Et trepidat nec, quo sustineatur, habet.
Decidit, atque cadens 'pater, o pater, auferor!' inquit,
Clauserunt uirides ora loquentis aquae.

The wax had melted: he shakes his bare arms,
And he trembles, for he has nothing by which he might be held aloft.
Down he falls, and as he is falling he cries, "Father, O Father, I am being carried off!
The green waters closed his lips as they were speaking.


The story of Icarus's fall is alluded to by Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part 3 5:6:18-25, where Henry VI compares himself to Daedalus and his son Edward to Icarus.[12]

Stephen may also be thinking of Christ crying out to his Father as he dies on the cross, Luke 23:46: Et clamans voce magna Iesus ait Pater in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum et haec dicens exspiravit. (And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.)[13]

References[edit | edit source]

Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses
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