The episode opens at midnight by the entrance to Nighttown, the Dublin red light district. It is told in the form a play dialogue, with scene directions to depict the changing scenes. Much of the episode takes place in the elaborate dreamscapes of Bloom and (to a lesser extent) Stephen. As a result, reality and the characters' imaginations mingle seamlessly, and at times it can be difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is just the characters' own feverish thoughts. That said, we'll do our best.
An ice cream man stops and serves some children on Mabbot Street, who squabble as they take his sweets before scattering.
The children bother a drunken man stumbling about in the street. The people out at night are described: a pigmy woman, a crone, a bandy child, a drunken navy, and two night watchmen. Somewhere a plate breaks.
Cissy Caffrey begins singing a nursery rhyme.
Two English constables, Private Carr and Private Compton, make a bawdy joke. Some men laugh, but a virago (noisy quarrelsome woman) curses the constables and tells them to let Cissy sing. Cissy goes on.
Stephen and Lynch appear on the street, and the Privates joke that Stephen looks like a parson, all dressed in black. Cissy keeps singing.
Stephen is chanting the entrance song for a mass. Lynch is attending him, but looks discontent.
A bawdy woman tries to lure the two of them into her brothel, and when they ignore her, she curses them as typical Trinity students: "All prick and no pence" (15.16).
Edy Boardman complains loudly of being seen in Nighttown.
Stephen finishes his chant, and Lynch asks him what his point is. He speaks of the desire that gesture become a universal language, like the gift of tongues rendered visible.
Lynch dismisses it as "pornosophical philotheology" (15.21).
Stephen goes on about how great philosophers and writers have been ruined by women, and he makes an elaborate gesture with his ashplant (cane). Lynch curses him and asks where they are going.
Stephen says they are going to see the prostitute, Georgina Johnson, who has lit up the days of his youth. Lynch is impatient with him.
Tommy and Jacky Caffrey try to climb a gaslamp. The navvy stumbles over and blows his nose grotesquely. The fog is heavy in Dublin.
Bloom appears from under the railway bridge, which puts him a few hundred yards behind Stephen and Lynch. He is out of breath and has been running. He keeps bread and chocolate in a side pocket, and dips into a pork butcher's to pick up a pig's crubeen and a cold sheep's trotter. He has a cramp and wonders why he ran.
Bloom sees a light and wonders what it is, then realizes it is the fire brigade. He crosses the road to avoid the swerving navvy (worker on a civil engineering project).
Some urchins yell at Bloom, and then some passing cyclists nearly graze him. He has a spasm of pain, and is nearly hit by a motorman in the road. He gets out of the way, and the driver yells at him.
Bloom is still very out of breath, and thinks that he should pick up Sandow's exercises again. He considers reporting the driver, but decides against it. He wonders if the cramp is due to something he ate.
Bloom asks a Madame standing in a doorway which street he is on, and she tells him "Mabbot Street" in Irish. Bloom thanks her and slinks off.
He thinks of the signposts put up by the Irish cycling league, and Jacky Caffrey suddenly runs smack into him. The boys quickly scramble off, and Bloom checks his pockets to make sure that they didn't take anything.
Here, we begin to enter Bloom's dreamscapes.
In his mind, Bloom's father, Rudolph Virag, appears and scolds him for spending so much money. Bloom tries to hide the crubeen and the trotter.
Rudolph asks Bloom what on earth he's doing in Nighttown. He wonders if this is actually his son, Leopold. Bloom says that it is. Rudolph remembers a time when some other schoolboys brought Bloom home drunk, covered in mud because he slipped while racing them in a sprint.
Bloom says it only happened once, and Rudolph mentions how hard it was for Bloom's mother.
Bloom's mother, Ellen, appears looking extremely proper. She prays to the Redeemer to ask what has become of Bloom.
With downcast eyes, Bloom slips his parcels into his pockets.
Molly calls Bloom, and he looks over to see an image of her in a fancy Turkish costume. He calls back to her.
She begins to tease him as if he were a child. Molly then appears even more ornate, with a camel hooded in a turban. She scolds him in Moorish (she's from Gibraltar, remember), and the camel lifts a hoof and plucks a mango fruit from a tree.
Bloom offers her a piggyback ride, and she laughs at him and tells him he needs to see the world. He begins stammering about how he was going back to pick up her lotion.
The bar of soap appears as a character and sings a rhyme about itself and Leopold. The druggist Sweny appears and demands payment for the soap.
Molly calls his name again and he answers. She looks at him with disdain, and walks away singing some lines from Don Giovanni. Bloom thinks that her pronunciation is wrong.
He follows her, but a disgusting Madame grabs his sleeve and points him in where she says that she has a virgin waiting. The girl turns out to be Bridie Kelley (in Bloom's imagination), the first prostitute Bloom slept with. She turns and runs off with a man in hot pursuit.
Gerty MacDowell appears limping up to Bloom. She alludes to something he did to her, and the bawdy Madame tries to shoo her away. She calls him a dirty married man for masturbating to her underthings, and says, "I love you for doing that to me" (15.78).
As Gerty limps away, Josie Breen appears in the causeway. Bloom tries to be formal with her and make small talk, but she scolds him for being in Nighttown and says that she will tell Molly.
Bloom begins to say that Molly often thought of slumming, coming down to see Negro servants. Two vaudeville type black men, Tom and Sam Bohee, appear with banjos and act stereotypically black before cakewalking away.
Bloom tries to get a little frivolity out of Josie for old time's sake. She is taken aback, but when he identifies himself as the sender of an anonymous valentine, she becomes more susceptible.
They remember back when they were dating, and Josie says Bloom was quite a ladies' man.
Bloom suddenly appears as he did then. They engage in some sexual innuendo involving a teapot, and Bloom takes her hand, remembering a time that he removed a splinter from it. Josie suddenly appears in an evening gown, and comments on how attractive Bloom is.
Bloom mentions how sad it made him when Josie married Dennis Breen, how people said it was like beauty and the beast.
Dennis Breen appears wearing one of Wisdom Hely's sandwich boards. Alf Bergan follows behind him laughing, repeating "Up, Up."
Josie Breen asks Bloom for a kiss, but he acts astonished, saying that she is one of Molly's best friends.
Bloom begins thinking about snacks for dinner, and then Richie Goulding appears (Bloom's lunchmate in "Sirens"). He is carrying his Collis and Ward bag, which is so heavy it has his whole body bent sideways. On the bag is a skull and crossbones.
Richie has a run in with Bald Pat, and then appears gored by the navvy's stick.
He lets out a cry of pain, and Bloom tells him not to attract attention.
Bloom begins making excuses again for why he is in Nighttown, and Josie scolds him. Bloom walks on with the imaginary Josie Breen, and the bawd curses him.
Bloom begins recounting a time when they all went to the races. He describes how incredibly fetching Josie was, and what his favorite outfit of hers was. He says that, though Molly had a host of admirers, he never cared as much for her style.
He gets to the seeming point of his story where Josie is about to ask him a question, and she urges him on before fading away at his side.
Bloom now finds himself at hellsgates, followed by a whining dog. A woman pisses in the street. Outside a pub, a bunch of loitering men listen to a man tell a story about a guy who mistook a bottle of porter for a urinal.
The prostitutes begin to call out to Bloom from lanes and doors and corners (again, reality is mixing with his imagination).
The navvy haggles with a prostitute, and tries to pull Private Compton and Private Carr along with him. The prostitute tugs him away, and Bloom stops with the dog panting beside him.
Bloom thinks that he is on a wild goose chase. He wonders why he is following Stephen in the first place, but feels the need to look after him.
Apparently, Mulligan and Haines gave Stephen the slip somewhere back on Westland Row and took the last train back to the Tower.
Bloom thinks that Stephen will lose all of his money if Bloom doesn't keep an eye on him.
Bloom sees an obscene chalk scratching on a wall, and thinks of Molly. The women call out to him about the sweets of sin (like the book he picked up for Molly in "The Wandering Rocks").
Bloom scolds himself for wasting so much money on food. He observes the dog next to him and wonders why dogs so often take to him. He feeds it to the crubeen and the trotter, which it chomps down hungrily.
The two watchmen pass by, and Bloom imagines them interrogating him over why he gave away his food.
He imagines a sea of gulls rising from the Liffey River with Banbury cakes in their beaks. He imagines Bob Doran on a barstool swooning over the dog that is now eating his crubeen and trotter. Doran falls off the stool and disappears.
One of the watchmen tells Bloom that they are from the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and Bloom says that just earlier today he scolded a man for whipping his horse too hard.
Signor Maffei, a character from the novel Ruby: Pride of the Ring (which depicts the cruelties of circus life and is briefly referenced in "Calypso"), appears with a hool-a-hoop, a carriagewhip and a revolver. With a sinister smile, he boasts to the audience of his liontaming skills, and then introduces Ruby.
The first watch asks for Bloom's name and address, and Bloom pretends he is a dental surgeon that owns half of Egypt.
A card falls out of Bloom's hat. He hands it to the watchman and tells them that it says he is a member of the Junior Army and Navy.
The first watch looks at it and sees it says Henry Flower. The second warns Bloom that he needs an alibi.
Bloom produces a yellow flower from his jacket, and claims he's engaged to the woman in question. He bumps elbows with the second watchman, and says he knows how they do in the navy, that he's just gallivanting. He offers to introduce him to the game young girl.
A dark face appears and says that the castle is looking for Bloom because he was drummed out of the army.
Martha Clifford appears calling Bloom's name. The first watch says he will have to come down to the station. Bloom says that this is a case of mistaken identity.
Clifford is sobbing and tells the watch of how Bloom used her. She says her real name is Peggy Griffin, and that she's going to tell her brother what a shameless flirt Bloom is.
Bloom whispers to the watchman that he is drunk, but the second watch tells him he should be ashamed of himself.
Bloom begins to plead his case as if he is in court. He says, "I am a man misunderstood. I am being made a scapegoat of. I am a respectable married man, without a stain on my character" (15.165).
Bloom appeals to the Dublin boys in the gallery (again, as if he's in a court, the scene gradually shifts to a courtroom). A voice calls out that he is a turncoat, and Bloom goes on saying that he is a loyal Britisher.
The first watch demands to know his profession, and Bloom claims to be an author-journalist. He says he is about to bring out a collection of prize stories.
Myles Crawford appears with phone in hand. He says he is calling from Freeman's Urinal and Weekly Arsewiper, and asks if Bloom is the one who is writing.
Philip Beaufoy appears in the witnessbox, and denies that Bloom is an author. He calls him a plagiarist, and accuses him of stealing from his books.
Bloom tries to take exception, but Beaufoy puts him down. He says he is there with his literary agent, and that he wants to settle this matter brought about by a man that did not even go to university.
Bloom says, "University of life. Bad art" (15.176).
Beaufoy curses Bloom for being morally rotten. He says he can produce a passage that Bloom plagiarized, and accuses him of "leading a quadruple existence" (15.180).
Bloom begins to protest, but the first watch has the crier call Mary Driscoll, the maid, as a witness.
The second watch begins to interrogate her, and she says she is not too badly off, but that she had to leave her last job on account of Bloom making a certain suggestion to her.
Bloom pleads with her, says that he treated her well, gave her gifts, and tried to take her side when she was accused of stealing.
Driscoll shouts adamantly that she didn't steal any oysters. She claims Bloom bothered while Molly was out, interfered with her clothing and discolored her in four places. Bloom claims that she counterassaulted.
Driscoll recalls Bloom telling her to keep it quiet, and the court audience laughs.
Georges Fottrell calls for order in court, and says, "The accused will now make a bogus statement" (15.194).
Bloom goes into a long mumbling speech in his own defense, offering all sorts of excuses for his behavior and promising to reform himself in the future. The audience simply laughs at him.
Professor MacHugh (from "Aeolus") appears and tells Bloom to cough it up. He is cross-examined, and accused of mistaking a bucket for a toilet. The courtroom is full of catcalls.
J.J. O'Molloy appears as a barrister and offers an elaborate defense for Bloom. He cites Bloom's difficult origins, and claims that he is not all there.
Bloom now appears barefoot and very meek. He salutes the court, and begins to recite a silly child's rhyme, but is howled down.
O'Molloy continues his defense, saying Bloom is far too bashful to do something like that to Mary Driscoll. He says, "When in doubt persecute Bloom" (15.199). He claims that Bloom is in a tight spot because he is mortgaging property in Asia Minor and begins to show slides.
Bloom promises to pay his creditors what he owes.
The grocer Dlugacz pipes up.
O'Molloy begins to speak in the manner of Seymour Bushe (as he did in the "Aeolus" episode).
Bloom begins to list character references that he can provide.
Yelverton Barry calls out for them to arrest Bloom. She says he wrote her indecent letters, tried to arrange a rendez-vous, and told her he could see her breasts looking down at her from an opera box.
Mrs. Bellingham calls out with another complaint against Bloom, and Barry yells "For Shame!". Ragamuffins come into the imaginary court and begin taunting Bloom.
Bellingham claims that Bloom also wrote her, and asked her "to commit adultery at the earliest possible opportunity" (15.209).
Mervyn Talboys claims that Bloom also came on to her. She calls him a "plebian Don Juan," says he sent her a naked picture of Molly having sex with another man, and asked her to soil his letter in an unspeakable manner (15.210).
Bellingham and Barry cry Me Too, and a number of other respectable Dublin ladies hold up letters that they received from Bloom.
Talboys says she wants to scourge Bloom, and the other women cheer her on. Bloom acts tickled, and tries to plead with her. She calls for him to be flogged black and blue in the streets.
Davy Stephens appears surrounded by a bunch of newsboys, advertising the day's papers. Reverend O'Hanlon produces a timepiece that beings making a cuckoo call, and Father Conroy and John Hughes bow before him.
Some fog rolls back and reveals who is in the jury box: Martin Cunningham as foreman, Jack Power, Simon Dedalus, Tom Kernan, Ned Lambert, John Henry Menton, Myles Crawford, Lenehan, Paddy Leonard, Nosey Flynn, M'Coy and a nameless one.
The nameless one sets off a flurry of denunciations of Bloom. The court crier announces that he is a dynamitard, forger, bigamist, bawd, cuckold, and public nuisance.
Sir Frederick Falkner, recorder of Dublin, tells the subsheriff to take Bloom away to prison, and announces that he will be hanged by the neck until he is dead.
Long John Fanning appears and asks who will hang Bloom. The Barber H. Rumbold offers, and barters with Falkner for the price of the execution.
The bells of George's church sound (near Bella Cohen's brothel, back in reality).
Bloom begins to stammer desperately. He sees Hynes, and pleads with him. He tells Hynes that he can keep the debts he owes Bloom, and offers him more.
Hynes claims he is a perfect stranger.
Bloom is accused of various things based on his dark dress. A beagle turns up its snout, and it has the face of Paddy Dignam. It grows to life size.
Dignam says it is true, Bloom was only in mourning for his funeral.
The watchman wonders how it is possible for Dignam to come back from the dead. He says it's on account of metempsychosis, and a voice says "O rocks" (15.252).
Dignam asks after his wife, and says he needs to fill an animal need. John O'Connell, the caretaker and Father Coffey appear. Dignam recognizes O'Connell's voice as that of his master. Dignam asks that they pray for the repose of the soul and walks off (still a dog) followed along by an obese rat.
Tom Rochford jumps out of the machine he has invented.
He calls out Reuben J. Dodd, then sees a manhole before him and does a salmon leap into it.
All recedes and Bloom is before a (real) lighted house – that of Mrs. Bella Cohen's brothel.
A bunch of personified kisses begin calling out to Bloom. Bloom thinks how sad the noise is, and wonders if Stephen is here.
A (again, real) prostitute named Zoe comes out and asks Bloom what he's doing there. He explains that he's looking for someone and she is worried that Bloom is Stephen's father. He says he is not.
Zoe asks why they are both in black, and begins to flirt with Bloom. She reaches into his pocket and takes out a potato. Bloom tells her it's a talisman. She asks if she can keep it and slips it into her own pocket.
Bloom begins to recite a bit of poetry involving gazelles, and all of a sudden he imagines a bunch of real gazelles in the mountains. Zoe hums along with the music in Hebrew, and Bloom is fascinated that she's Jewish. She bites his ear.
Bloom asks if she's from Dublin, and Zoe says there is no need to worry because she's English. She asks for a smoke, and Bloom begins to speak against the evils of smoking.
Zoe tells him to go ahead and make a stump speech out of it.
We again open into an extended dreamscape of Bloom's.
Bloom appears in workman's overalls, and begins to go on a long stump speech about the evils of the potato and the weed.
Midnight chimes from distant steeples, and the chimes call Bloom the mayor of Dublin.
Bloom begins making a speech about running a tramline from the cattle markets to the river (like the men discussed in the carriage in "Hades").
An elector appears and announces Bloom chief magistrate. A number of torchbearers cheer him on.
The ex-mayor Harrington announces that Bloom's house will be ornamented with a commemorative tablet, and a street will be named Boulevard Bloom.
The vote is carried unanimously.
Bloom begins making a speech against the lying Dutchmen that are cheating the workers with their capitalist lusts.
Everyone applauds, and a great procession appears before Bloom including a number of honorable Dublin people. Bloom appears bareheaded under an arch of triumph.
Different townspeople begin calling out their praises of Bloom. A bellhanger says he has "a classic face! He has the forehead of a thinker" (15.297).
Bloom is presented Leopold the First by a bishop, and he thanks the "somewhat eminent sir" (15.300).
The archbishop asks if he will bring law and mercy, and Bloom says he will do what God puts in his power to do.
Bloom assumes a mantle of gold cloth and a ruby ring, and the fireworks of the Mirus charity bazaar shoot up all around him.
Bloom announces that he repudiates his former spouse, and will replace her with the princess Selene.
John Howard Parnell comes up to Bloom and calls him the successor to his brother (Charles Stewart). Bloom thanks him, but Tom Kernan tells him that he deserves it.
Bloom recalls a glorious moment in the Boer war, and all the typesetters cheer him on.
The people continue to cheer on Bloom, and he announces the start of a golden city called "the new Bloomusalem" (15.315). A number of workmen appear and construct the new Bloomusalem in the shape of a giant pork kidney.
The man in the mackintosh (from Dignam's funeral) appears and denounces Bloom. Bloom calls that they shoot him. There's a cannon shot and he disappears. Bloom begins passing out all sorts of goods to the people assembled.
The women call him little father, and the babes sing rhymes for him. He pokes baby Boardman in the stomach, and the baby burps up on him.
Bloom begins moseying with all sorts of people about town: he greets the blind stripling as his brother, forgives Joe Hynes debts, and lays down his coat for a beggar.
The citizen appears choked with emotion, saying that God must bless Bloom.
Bloom begins reading off the Jewish holidays, and the assistant town clerk, Jimmy Henry, announces that the Court of Conscience is open.
Paddy Leonard asks what he should about his rates and taxes, and Bloom tells him to pay them. Leonard thanks him.
Nosey Flynn, Pisser Burke and others approach Bloom with civic and personal questions, and he answers all of them promptly. A man tries to give him a dozen stout, but he says that the missus accepts no presents.
A man calls the gathering a festivity, but Bloom says solemnly, "You call it a festivity. I call it a sacrament."
Keyes appears asking about his house of Keyes. Bloom announces that he stands for the reform of morals and the plain old Ten Commandments. He wants "free money, free love and a free lay church in a free lay state" (15.348).
Davy Byrne yawns, and Bloom promotes mixed marriage. Lenehan asks about mixed bathing.
A keeper of the Kildare museum begins to roll out statues of Greek goddesses, and the tide starts to turn against Bloom.
Father Farley denounces him as "an anythingarian" (15.353).
Others denounce Bloom, but Nosey Flynn asks him for a song. Bloom sings a rhyme about his wife being a deceiver. Some appreciate Bloom and laugh at him while Paddy Leonard denounces him as a "Stage Irishman!" (15.359). Lenehan calls him a plagiarist.
A veiled sibyl says, "I'm a Bloomite and I glory in it" (15.362). She offers to give her life for Bloom. Bloom winks and bets she's a bonnie lassie.
Theodore Purefoy denounces Bloom for using contraception. The sibyl stabs herself, and a number of other attractive women about town give their lives for Bloom.
Alexander J. Dowie rallies the anti-Bloomites and says he is from the roots of hell. A mob denounces him and begins throwing things at him.
Bloom says this is madness and he is as guiltless as the unsunned snow. He says that Dr. Malachi Mulligan, sex specialist, will appear in his defense.
Mulligan appears in a motor jerkin, and begins giving an absurd medical analysis of Bloom, saying that he is "more sinned against than sinning" (15.369). He announces him a virgo intacta (virgin with the hymen intact).
Bloom hides his genitals. Madden, Crotthers, and Punch Costello all offer medical testimony.
Dixon appears and announces Bloom an example of "the new womanly man" (15.373). He explains that Bloom leads a very Spartan lifestyle, and concludes by saying that he is going to have a baby. There is great commotion and a collection is taken up.
Bloom says, "O, I so want to be a mother" (15.374).
Nurse Thornton helps him, and he gives birth to eight male yellow and white children. All of the children immediately reveal themselves to be extremely intelligent and successful.
A voice asks which Messiah Bloom is, and the crowd asks him to perform a miracle. Bantam Lyons asks for the results of an up-coming race. Bloom performs a number of absurd miracles including hanging from the top of Nelson Pillar by his eyelids.
Brini, Papal Nuncio reads off Bloom's genealogy.
An ecclesiastical hand writes on the wall that Bloom is a fool. A number of people demand to know what Bloom did in various places. He blushes and asks that they excuse his past.
The Irish evicted tenants call for everyone to whip Bloom. He suddenly appears with donkey's ears in a pillory, whistling Don Giovanni.
Bloom is denounced. People cast pantomime stones at him and dogs come up and pee on him.
People call him a false messiah, and his tailor appears with a bill for a pair of trousers Bloom never paid. Bloom thinks that it is just like old times.
Reuben J. Dodd appears with his dead son on his shoulders. The fire brigade sets fire to Bloom, and the citizen thanks the lord.
In flames, Bloom prays that the daughters of Erin don't weep for him, and the daughters appear and begin saying a number of prayers. An enormous choir sings the Alleluia and Bloom shrinks and becomes mute.
Zoe (back to real life again, though intermingled with fantasy) asks if he is going to talk until he is blue in the face.
Bloom pities his situation and considers suicide. Zoe wonders what is wrong with him, and thinks maybe he ejaculated prematurely with his favorite girl.
Bloom says, "Man and woman, love, what is it? A cork and bottle" (15.402). Zoe asks him to give her a chance, and he tells her that she is a necessary evil.
He plays with her breast and she tells him, "Stop that and begin worse" (15.405). Bloom says his wife would be very jealous, and Zoe says, "What the eye can't see the heart can't grieve for" (15.409).
Bloom counts the buttons on her slip, and they speak to him. Zoe begins to lead him into Cohen's brothel. As Bloom looks at the folds of her clothes, he thinks of all the male brutes that have possessed her. He imagines them speaking of her approvingly.
Bloom trips on the steps, and the prostitutes tease him. Zoe leads the way up the steps. In the threshold, he sees a couple at the piano. Lynch is seated on the floor, and a prostitute named Kitty is sitting on a table looking at herself in a mirror.
Lynch makes a pass at Kitty, but she brushes him off. Zoe turns up the gaslight.
Stephen is over tapping at the piano with two fingers. A prostitute is sprawled on the sofa. Lynch flirts with Kitty, and Stephen watches him.
Stephen begins discussing an Italian composer with himself, speaking very drunkenly and making numerous mistakes. He points at Lynch's cap, and the cap speaks back to him.
Stephen claims the cap is always trying to pick out his errors. He begins making a statement on the transcendental self, and the cap keeps challenging him to finish it. With effort, he does.
Lynch looks at Bloom and Zoe and laughs at what a learned speech it was.
Zoe says, "God help your head, he knows more than you have forgotten" (15.436).
Florry says she heard that the end of days is coming this summer. Zoe laughs. Florry says it was in the papers, and a bunch of imaginary newsboys pass by announcing the arrival of the Antichrist.
Stephen sees Bloom and mutters a passage from the Book of Revelation. Reuben J. Dodd appears as the Antichrist, carrying a boatpole from which hangs his dead son. Punch Costello appears as a hobgoblin doing cartwheels before disappearing in a vacuum.
Florry bemoans the end of the world.
The gramophone begins singing about Jerusalem, and an imaginary rocket shoots up and announces the coming of Elijah. The end of the world speaks with a Scottish accent.
Elijah appears and preaches to the people in the room, saying that they can all be Christ-like and have a hint of the higher self. He tells them to call him on the sunphone anytime.
The gramophone begins to squeal, and the prostitutes cover their ears.
Elijah speaks to God as Mr. President and asks him to save the prostitutes.
Kitty, Zoe and Florry all announce when they lost their purity.
Stephen begins saying a line from the beatitudes, and the gathered group from the Maternity Hospital appears as the beatitudes.
Lyster appears, and then so does Mr. Best. He tries to quote Yeats, but means Keats. John Eglinton appears and says that he is out for plain truth, no fancy esthetics or cosmetics.
The bearded figure of Mananaan MacLir appears (that is, George William Russell, metamorphosized into the Irish god of the sea). He speaks to them.
Zoe goes (in reality again) to fix the chandelier, and asks for a cigarette. Lynch tosses one on the table for her. He lifts the backside of her skirt with his poker to get a glance at her bottom.
Zoe makes eyes at Bloom. Suddenly Bloom's grandfather, Lipoti Virag, comes shuttling down the chimney and introduces himself.
Virag assesses the three prostitutes for Bloom, and when Bloom says that one of them seems sad, he denounces it as a hoax. Virag wonders if one of them has a wart, and reminds Bloom of the treatment for them. He remembers when Bloom was going to devote an entire year to the study of the religious problem and laughs at him.
Bloom reflects on the present and the past. Virag goes on about the mating habits of insects, and claims to know quite a bit about it. Bloom thinks of how men are irresistibly drawn to women, and Virag begins singing nursery rhymes.
Henry Flower appears very well dressed, strumming at the strings of his guitar.
Stephen decides to play piano with his eyes closed, so as to imitate his father. He thinks of Deasy and the telegraph and how drunk he is.
As he begins playing, Almidano Artifoni appears with a roll of music. Florry asks Stephen to sing them something.
Stephen says he has "No voice. I am a most finished artist" (15.496). Florry smirks.
Two Siamese twins, Philip Drunk and Philip Sober, appear in the window. They act as the two sides of Stephen's drunken conscience, one counseling him to tally up how much money he has spent and the other insisting that he paid his way and he should just enjoy himself.
Zoe begins telling a story about a priest that came to the brothel, trying to hide his Roman collar.
Virag speaks up and says that such an action is perfectly logical. He says he left the church because he disclosed sex secrets of monks and maidens.
Lynch says he hopes Zoe gave him good penance, but Zoe says that he was incapable of orgasm. Bloom pities him.
Virag begins noting all the contradictory beliefs regarding the existence of Jesus, and says that perhaps he was the Antichrist and that his reign was the beginning of the apocalypse.
Kitty pipes up with a sad story about a woman who was impregnated by a Dublin Fusilier, and whose child died.
The two Philips wonder how they got in such a wretched condition.
Kitty takes off her hat to reveal nice hair. Lynch puts it back on jokingly, but she whips it off.
Lynch alludes to a Russian embryologist that showed the similarities in human and animal physiognomy. Florry recognizes it, and Lynch thinks that they are quite wise prostitutes.
Virag continues to mutter on about how Mary couldn't actually have been a virgin.
Ben Dollard appears in the tight trousers he once received from the Blooms. He begins singing. The virgins cheer him on.
Henry Flower continues plucking his lutestrings, and then he and Virag make their exit.
Stephen suggests that Zoe might prefer Martin Luther or Antisthenes the cynic or another heresiarch. Lynch points out that it's all the same God to her.
Florry thinks that Stephen is a spoiled priest. Lynch says he is a cardinal son, and Stephen puns cardinal sin. Stephen appears as a cardinal and sings Irish ballads.
The doorhandle creaks, and Zoe thinks that the devil is in the door.
A male figure comes down the stairs and begins making his way out. Bloom offers Zoe a chocolate. She shares it with Kitty and tosses a piece to Lynch. Kitty remembers having fun at the Mirus Charity bazaar with some engineer that she went with.
Bloom appears very concerned about the figure outside. When he passes on, Bloom relaxes.
Zoe gives him a piece of chocolate and he thanks her. He tries to remember if chocolate is an aphrodisiac. He thinks that his black costume makes him sad.
A door opens and Bella Cohen, the massive prostitute madame, appears. She flaps a fan in Bloom's face, and he begins having a conversation with the fan (back into an extended dreamscape again). The fan thinks that they have met before, but Bloom tries to deny it.
Bloom says that he is very exhausted, and begins going on about how his family line is susceptible to cold.
Richie Goulding passes by trying to make sales. Bloom thinks that he should not have parted with his talisman (the potato). He sees that Bella Cohen's boot is unlaced and bends down to tie her shoe. He says that when he was young he wanted to be a shoefitter. He begins speaking with Bella Cohen's "hoof" to make sure it is not too tight.
Bloom begins speaking to Bella meekly (we're clearly in the realm of the surreal here) and she keeps cursing him. She has him get down on all fours, and places her boot on his neck. She tells him that she is his despot. Bella becomes masculine (now going by Mr. Bello) and Bloom becomes feminine.
Bloom crawls under the couch and hides. The prostitutes help cover for Bloom, and say that (she) didn't mean any offense. Bello lures Bloom out, and then yanks her by her hair. He calls for a number of torture instruments, and tells Bloom that he will slaughter her and have her for breakfast.
Bello begins twisting his arm and Bloom squeals. (He) has the prostitutes pin (her, i.e. Bloom) to the ground and sits on her, smoking a cigar and discussing money matters. Bello puts his cigar out in Bloom's ear, and then begins to ride her like a horse. He tells Bloom that she has been unmanned, just like she hoped for, and that he is going to make Bloom a prostitute.
Bello begins to mock Bloom for cross-dressing, which he claims he only did once when Molly was away. He blames it on the director of his high school play, where he had to play a girl.
Bello tells her that the sins of her past are rising against her, and the sins of Bloom's past speak up and announce a number of disgusting things that Bloom has done. Bello demands to know the worst amongst them, and a number of faces appear to hear. Bloom stammers for mercy. Bello cries for Bloom to amuse him, and says that he will make Bloom a low servant for women. He places on Bloom's finger a ruby ring indicating that he is Bloom's master.
Bello begins addressing Bloom as "Miss Ruby" (the abused circus performer from Ruby: the Pride of the Ring). He announces all of the chores Bloom will have to do, and says he will let his friends have a run at Bloom. Bello elbows Bloom in the vulva.
An auction commences, and people begin bidding on Bloom. Bello presides over it, and then kids Bloom for being impotent.
He thinks of Eccles Street, and Bello taunts him with images of Molly and Boylan in bed. He suggests that Boylan may have impregnated Molly. Bloom begs for forgiveness.
The personification of Sleepy Hollow appears and begins calling Bloom, Rip Van Winkle.
A vision appears and Bloom thinks it is Molly, but Bello tells him it is Milly with Alec Bannon. Milly calls out to her father.
Bello laughs at the writing table in Bloom's home that he never uses. She thinks of how the men that Molly brings home will mess with the embarrassing things that Bloom keeps in his house.
Bloom becomes angry, and suddenly appears as if Bloom has a bowie knife in his teeth.
Bello tells him it's too late: "You have made your secondbest bed and others must lie in it. Your epitaph is written" (15.653). She says that he might as well just write his will and die.
Bloom thinks that he has sinned and suffered and begins to cry. Bello mocks him. The scene switches to Bloom's funeral.
A nymph emerges, and the yew trees whisper about her.
The nymph begins denouncing Bloom for finding her beauty in all the wrong places. She thinks of ads for absurd sex improvement. Bloom realizes she is talking about Photo Bits (which Alf Bergan was looking at in "Cyclops").
She accuses Bloom of having sex dreams, and he says that marriage is frail and that sleep reveals the worst side of everyone. She thinks of all the gross things she has seen in Bloom's bedchamber.
The sound of a waterfall is heard. In response to a comment of the yew trees, John Wyse Nolan appears and begins praising the trees of Ireland. The trees recall a high school field trip of Bloom's to the Poulaphouca waterfall.
Bloom appears in an under-sized schoolboy's uniform. He makes excuses for being a sex-obsessed teenager, and delights at feeling young again.
The yews accuse Bloom of profaning their shade with one Lotty Clarke. He wonders who saw, and a calf named Staggering Bob says that he did.
Bloom says that he was simply satisfying a need, and suddenly a nannygoat appears on Howth's head (where Bloom proposed to Molly).
Bloom imagines the newspaper account of his death; it says that he fell from a cliff into the sea.
Councillor Nannetti appears and begins reciting Robert Emmett's last words. Bloom (as he did at the end of "Sirens") farts.
The nymph is trying to understand the baseness of Bloom's sexual desires, but he can't explain it.
The voices of Kitty, Florry, Lynch, and Zoe come to him as if distant. Zoe tosses a pillow to Kitty and Lynch observes how warm it is. The voice of Lipoti Virag pipes up on the subject of the pillow.
Bloom tries to explain to the nymph how even the warm impress of a female form on a cushion can overpower him.
The nymph challenges Bloom with images of purity, suggesting that only the ethereal exist. He stands and his button pops off. A group of sluts appear dancing by him and mocking him.
Bloom says that the spell has been broken. He asks, "If there were only ethereal where would you all be, postulants and novices?" (15.714).
The nymph thinks that Bloom is trying to make a pass on her virtue, and says that he is not fit to touch her. He mocks her false purity, and says she is not that desirable anyway. She flees from him.
Bella Cohen appears standing before him and says, "You'll know me next time" (7.720). Bloom insults her ugliness, and she accuses him of being impotent again.
Bella turns to the piano and asks who was playing the march from Saul (and again, we return to something like reality). Zoe says it was she.
Bloom approaches Zoe and asks for the potato back. He claims it was a relic of his mother. Zoe kids him, but pulls it from the top of her stocking and gives it to him. Stephen observes.
Bella says this isn't a musical peepshow and asks who is paying. Stephen pays for him and Lynch, but he gives her too much. She tries to correct him and he gives her more, enough for the three of them.
Florry tries to rise, but her foot is asleep. All the prostitutes and men talk over each other. Stephen laughs at Bloom's comment that it's too late to drink.
Zoe stashes away her money and says it was "Hard earned on the flat of my back" (15.744).
Lynch lifts Kitty clumsily and puts her down on the couch. Florry asks who is going to take her. Stephen begins saying a nursery rhyme, and Bloom puts down money on the table, recovering Stephen's poundnote. He says that they are square.
Bella is impressed. Lynch and Kitty make out on the sofa.
Bloom goes over to Stephen and gives him his money back. Stephen says he is an absentminded beggar, and then drops a matchbox, which Bloom recovers for him. Bloom tells Stephen he will take care of Stephen's cash so he doesn't lose it. He begins counting it carefully to prove that he won't take anything, but Stephen says it doesn't matter.
Stephen goes over to the table and demands a cigarette. He tries to light it but holds the match too far away from his face. Lynch kids him. Stephen remembers a prostitute that was married, and Zoe and Florry explain that she moved to London.
Stephen thinks, "Lamb of London, who takest away the sins of our world" (15.769).
Stephen drops his cigarette, and Bloom throws it into a grate. He tells Stephen that he shouldn't smoke and that he ought to eat something. He asks if the prostitutes have any food.
Stephen recites some lines from Wagner, and Zoe thinks of a bit from Hamlet. She offers to read Stephen's palm, but goofs it up. Lynch gives her a hard time, and pats Kitty on the rump. He says it's like the pandybat.
The piano opens like a jack-in-the-box, and Father Dolan springs out asking who wants to be flogged. Conmee rises from the coffin of the piano and says he is sure that Stephen is a good boy (as he did in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).
Zoe says that Stephen has feminine hands. He asks her to caress him. She asks when he was born, and he says Thursday. She thinks that he has far to go, and that he needs influential friends.
Zoe thinks she has some bad news, but Bloom cuts her off and offers his hand instead of Stephen's. She begins guessing, but is wrong several times. She then guesses that he is a henpecked husband, and suddenly a hen appears klooking. Zoe thinks she is right.
Stephen begins recounting Deasy's view of history. Zoe and Florry whisper to each other and giggle. Bloom begins writing idly on the table.
The carriage of Boylan and Lenehan appears as it did outside the Ormond Hotel (dreamscape, obviously). Lenehan finds a woman's hair on Boylan's coat, and congratulates him. Boylan has Lenehan smell his fingers, and he thinks that they smell like "lobster and mayonnaise" (15.803). The prostitutes laugh.
Boylan greets Bloom and hangs his hat on an antler hatrack. He asks if Molly is in, and Bloom, appearing a lackey, says she is in the bath.
Molly gets out and greets Boylan. Zoe shares the joke with Bella who laughs. Molly says that they can let Bloom watch.
Boylan says, "You can apply your eye to the keyhole and play with yourself while I just go through her a few times" (15.814).
Bloom asks if he can bring some friends and take a picture. He asks if Boylan needs any lotion or anything.
Florry tells the joke to Kitty, who laughs.
Mina Kennedy and Lydia Douce admire Boylan's sexual technique. Boylan and Molly moan, and Bloom cheers them on.
All the prostitutes are laughing now. Lynch points to the mirror, and Stephen and Bloom turn to it to see the image of William Shakespeare there. Shakespeare begins quoting himself, and recalls how Iago got Othello so jealous that he killed Desdemona.
Bloom asks the prostitutes when he will hear the joke they are all sharing, and Zoe tells him before he's twice married and once a widower.
Bloom begins to make a speech about how lapses are condoned, when Mrs. Dignam appears with her children jumping about around her. The head of Shakespeare morphs into that of Martin Cunningham, who is nagged by his wife. Cunningham curses her.
Stephen begins recounting famous cases of adultery, and Bella scolds him. Lynch tells her to cut Stephen slack as he's just returned from Paris. Zoe rushes up to Stephen's arm and begs for some French.
Stephen goes over to the fireplace theatrically. Lynch taps along on the sofa. Stephen does a parody of all the sins of Paris, and the prostitutes cheer him on. He continues to act out the life of the Parisian brothel, and Bella collapses on the sofa in laughter. He begins acting like a French prostitute, and the girls are all very amused.
Bloom tries to calm Stephen down, but Stephen shakes him off. He says, "No, I flew. My foes beneath me. And ever shall be. World without end. Pater! Free" (15.853)!
Bloom again tries, but Stephen insists that no one can break his spirit.
Simon Dedalus's voice is heard. He appears clumsily on wings, calling out to Stephen. A fox that has just buried his grandmother scampers off. The Gold Cup race is re-enacted with ghostly horses. Garrett Deasy rides a particularly down and out horse.
Private Carr, Private Compton, and Cissy Caffrey pass by in the street. Stephen points it out, and Zoe tells him to be quiet.
She hears the song they are singing, "My Girl's a Yorkshire Girl," and goes to put money in the player piano. An image of Professor Goodwin totters across the room.
Zoe asks who will dance with her, and Stephen takes her in his arms and begins dancing. Professor Maginni appears and begins praising Stephen's dancing and coaching him.
The very first morning light can be seen outside the window. When Zoe gets tired, Stephen begins dancing with Florry. Maginni cheers him on in French.
Kitty wants to be included so Stephen begins dancing with her. Zoe begins dancing with Florry, and the whole room is festive.
Simon Dedalus's voice is heard telling Stephen to think of his mother's people. Stephen replies that he will do the dance of death.
A number of scenes from the day blink by as they dance.
Then the image of Stephen's mother, May Dedalus, appears in a torn bridal veil, rising from the grave. A choir chants behind her dramatically.
Mulligan appears in a jester's courtroom from on high announcing that Stephen's mother is beastly dead, and laughing at the situation.
May identifies herself, and tells Stephen that one day he too will die. Stephen is horrified. He tells his mother that cancer killed her, not he. She remembers him singing her the song "Love's Bitter Mystery," and Stephen asks her to tell him the word known to all men.
Stephen's mother tells him to repent, and he calls the image a ghoul. She says that she prays for him from the other world.
Zoe says she is melting with heat, and Florry suddenly notices that Stephen has gone very pale. Bloom thinks that Stephen is giddy and cracks a window.
Stephen's mother, with smoldering eyes, screams at him to repent. He calls her a corpsechewer.
She tells him to beware of God's hand and reaches into his chest with a claw and grabs his heart. Stephen curses, and then suddenly appears very old.
He begins crying nonsensically (for the others to hear): "The intellectual imagination! With me all or not all. Non serviam!" (15.915).
Florry rushes to get him some water, and May prays to Jesus to save Stephen from hell.
Stephen shouts, "No! No! No! Break my spirit all of you if you can! I'll bring you all to heel!" (15.918).
The mother prays for God to take mercy on Stephen, and he screams Nothung! Stephen raises his ashplant and smashes the chandelier in the room (yes, this happens).
Bloom cries at him to stop, and Lynch rushes to him and tries to calm him down. Bella calls for the police. Stephen rushes out into the street, and Bella calls for someone to chase after him. Some prostitutes rush into the doorway and watch Stephen in the street.
Bella demands someone to pay ten shillings for the lamp, but Bloom accuses her of trying to overcharge them after she has already milked Stephen dry. He picks up Stephen's ashplant and Bella acts as if she thinks that Bloom is going to hit her.
Bella says that she will call the police. Bloom says that Stephen is a Trinity student, the nephew of the vice-chancellor (untrue) and that she will create a scandal. Bella cries that she will charge him.
Bloom tries to plead with her, but Zoe says there is a fight out in the street.
Bloom throws a shilling down for Bella and rushes out after Stephen. He imagines all the people he has encountered that day following him through Nighttown and hollering at him.
Stephen is arguing with Private Carr at the corner of Beaver Street.
He tells them, "You are my guests. The uninvited" (14.946).
Carr asks Cissy Caffrey if Stephen was insulting her. He recalls the formal tense in which he addressed her. Some voices speak up in Stephen's defense. Cissy says that she was with the Privates, and then Stephen ran up behind her. She claims she's faithful to the privates even if she's just a prostitute.
Compton encourages Carr to hit Stephen, and Carr again asks Cissy if Stephen insulted her while the Privates were taking a piss.
Lord Tennyson appears and says it is not to reason why. Compton again tells Carr to hit Stephen.
Stephen speaks to them obliquely, using a quote from Swift. Carr asks how Stephen would like it if he hit him in the jaw.
Stephen says, "How? Very unpleasant. Noble art of self-pretence. Personally, I detest action" (15.962).
Bloom elbows through the crowd, and addresses Stephen as professor. He tells him that there is a car waiting. Stephen says he's not afraid of the men, and then stumbles. Bloom tells him to keep his balance.
Stephen admits that his center of gravity is displaced. He thinks of priest and king as two sides of the same oppression, and says that he must kill them.
Some prostitutes discuss Stephen's fine speech and his stubbornness. Carr asks what Stephen is saying about his king.
Edward VII appears sucking a red jujube. He calls for peace, shakes hands with all in the crowd, and says that he wants to see a clean fight.
Carr dares Stephen to say it again. Stephen tells him, "You die for your country, suppose. Not that I wish it for you. But I say: Let my country die for me. Up to the present it has done so. I don't want to die. Damn death. Long live life" (15.975)!
Edward VII sings some lines from Mulligan's The Ballad of the Joking Jesus. Stephen hums a nursery rhyme.
Compton again urges Carr to hit Stephen. Bloom tells them that he's a gentleman and doesn't know what he's saying because he's so drunk on absinthe.
Stephen laughs at Bloom's explanation, and the Privates say they don't care who he is. Stephen admits that he seems to annoy them. Some of Stephen's friends from Paris appear and cheer him on.
Bloom tells Stephen to come home or he'll get into trouble. Stephen says he doesn't avoid trouble.
The prostitute, Biddy the Clap, thinks Stephen must be of fine lineage. The citizen appears and sings a Fenian ballad about slitting the throats of the English that hanged their Irish leaders.
The Croppy Boy (Robert Emmett) appears with a noose around his neck and begins reciting lines from the song.
The barber appears and readies himself to execute the croppy boy. He hangs him and the croppy boy dies with a violent erection that spouts semen on the people nearby.
Rumbold offers to sell the rope that was used to hang the rebel. Edward VII continues to sing and dance.
Carr again asks Stephen what he said about his king. Stephen thinks that this is monotonous, and explains that their king wants his money and his life. Carr denies it.
Stephen says, "Will some one tell me where I am least likely to meet these necessary evils?" (15.1002).
The old woman of Ireland appears, and Stephen begins conversing with her. Cissy shouts for them to stop fighting. Carr has become extremely angry with Stephen. Bloom tries to tell him that it is all a misunderstanding.
The citizen cheers him on, and he and Major Tweedy (Molly's father) show their medals to each other and salute.
Compton eggs Carr on. Bloom recounts times Irishmen fought on behalf of the English. Major Tweedy appears like Turko the terrible.
Carr vows do Stephen in, and Compton encourages him. Cissy Caffrey shouts that they are going to fight for her. The prostitutes wonder how each of the men will fare. Stephen mumbles some lines from William Blake.
Carr says, "I'll wring the neck of any fucking bastard says a word against my bleeding fucking king" (15.1023).
Bloom encourages Cissy to speak up and put a stop to it. She takes Carr's sleeve and asks if she is his girl. People begin to call for the police. Stephen addresses some lines from Richard Head to Cissy.
Voices begin to cry that Dublin is burning, and a great battlefield appears with a number of famous figures fighting in pairs.
A number of different Fathers and Reverends from the story act as if they are preparing communion in a Black Mass.
The voices of the damned and the blessed call out, and the voice of Adonai calls out.
Carr's threats reach a fever pitch, and the old woman of Ireland (imaginary, yes) offers Stephen a dagger to take the life of the English Private.
Bloom asks Lynch to get Stephen away, but Lynch says Stephen won't listen to him. He and Kitty wander off. Stephen calls Lynch Judas.
Bloom tries to pull Stephen along with him. He gives Stephen his ashplant, but Stephen tells him that this is just a feast of pure reason. Cissy tries to calm Carr down, saying she forgives Stephen and that he's boozed.
Carr steps forward and hits Stephen in the face. Stephen goes down flat on his back and his hat rolls over against the wall. Bloom rushes over and picks it up.
Major Tweedy calls for a ceasefire, and a dog starts barking furiously. The crowd calls for Stephen to be let up, and asks if he's hurt. An old lady asks what right the Englishman had to strike him. She begins arguing with a bawd.
Bloom calls for everyone to get back. The cops approach, and Compton tries to get Carr to back off.
The first watchman appears and Compton says that Stephen insulted Cissy and assaulted Carr. Cissy asks if Stephen is bleeding.
A man says that he's fainted, but he'll come to just fine. The second watchman begins to interrogate Bloom, who angrily says that Carr hit Stephen without provocation. He tries to get the watchman to take down Carr's regimental number, but the watchman tells Bloom not to give him orders.
Carr and Compton back off.
The first watchman wants to know Stephen's name. Bloom sees Corny Kelleher approaching gets his attention. He explains the situation to Corny. Kelleher is friendly with the officers. He tells them that Stephen just won a bunch of money in the Gold Cup race, and manages to talk them down, joking that boys will be boys.
Bloom thanks the two watchmen, and explains that Stephen's father is very influential and they don't want a scandal (again, not quite true). The two watchmen say goodnight.
Bloom thanks Corny Kelleher for coming on the scene. Both men make excuses for being in Nighttown. Corny says he was helping two salesmen that were buying champagne for their customers. Bloom says he was on his way home, stopped in to see an old friend for a drink, and then found Stephen.
Corny shouts down to Stephen, who's out cold. He tells Bloom to make sure Stephen wasn't robbed, but Bloom says he's already recovered all Stephen's stuff.
Corny heads off in his carriage (not willing to take Stephen back to Sandycove, where the Martello Tower is), and Bloom and Corny say goodnight. Kelleher waves as he rides off, but he seems to be quite amused by the predicament Bloom is in.
Bloom tries to wake Stephen, who begins murmuring about a black panther (Haines's dream) and reciting some lines from Yeats.
Bloom observes how well educated he is and thinks that it is a pity. Stephen continues quoting Yeats, and curls up on the sidewalk.
Bloom thinks that Stephen's face reminds him of May's. He recognizes the lines of Yeats, and thinks Stephen would benefit from meeting a girl. He begins humming some lines of poetry.
A boy of eleven (how old Rudy would be if he were alive; notice how Stephen and Rudy are juxtaposed here) appears in an Eton suit reading from a book and kissing each page.
Bloom is wonderstruck and calls out to his son, but Rudy looks up at him unseeing and goes on reading.