Study Guide

Rudolph Virag Bloom in Ulysses

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Rudolph Virag Bloom

Rudolph Virag is Leopold Bloom's father. After the death of Bloom's mother, Rudolph lost faith and poisoned himself in the year 1886. In "Hades," the men think of what a shameful act suicide is, and Bloom is forced to think back on the death of his father. During one of Bloom's elaborate dreamscapes in "Circe," Rudolph appears and chastises his son (Bloom) for being in Nighttown.

Bloom is planning to go to Ennis for the anniversary of his father's death, which means that he will not be on the Belfast tour with Molly and Boylan. In "Ithaca," Bloom thinks of Rudolph and how he used to show him all the commercial centres of Europe on a map. He remembers how his face looked after he took the aconite, and he recalls bits of the suicide letter Rudolph addressed to Leopold. As with the younger Rudy, it is clear that the death of Bloom's father has made him feel very estranged from the world: Leopold is the only remaining member in his line.

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