A friend of "Buck" Mulligan who appears in the "Oxen of the Sun" chapter at the National Maternity Hospital. He is also familiar with Leopold Bloom's daughter Milly and he discusses her without knowing that her father is present.
The writer of the prize-winning story "Matcham's Masterstroke" which Leopold Bloom reads in the outhouse towards the end of "Calypso." Leopold Bloom, in "Nausicaa," contemplates becoming a writer as successful as Beaufoy, whose stories have little literary merit.
The librarian who appears in "Scylla and Charybdis" which takes place in Dublin's National Library.
Bloom, Leopold "Poldy"
The protagonist of Joyce's mock-epic. Bloom is a "modern" hero in contrast to the Homeric Ulysses. Throughout the novel, Joyce exposes Bloom, an ad-canvasser, as an outsider and as a Christ-like figure. Bloom's outsider status stems mainly from the fact that he is a Jew in an overwhelming Roman Catholic (and frequently anti-Semitic) environment. Moreover, the fact that his wife Molly is having an affair with the more popular and attractive Blazes Boylan, typifies the emasculating awkwardness that Bloom suffers throughout the novel. Despite Bloom's substantial weaknesses and numerous foibles, he emerges as a hero if only for the compassion that he shows towards his fellow man and his demonstrated artistic sensitivity. Most notably, Bloom, who survives both his father and his son, serves a father-like role for Stephen Dedalus. The child of foreigners, Leopold Bloom's original family name was Virag which is Hungarian for flower. In his attempts at a covert affiar with Martha Affiar (via love letters), Bloom uses the pseudonym Henry Flower; his wife Molly refers to him by the nickname "Poldy".
Bloom, Marcus J
A Bloom who is not related to the Bloom family. The name of this dental surgeon provides confusion in the "Wandering Rocks" chapter.
The fifteen year old daughter of Leopold and Molly Bloom. She is dating Alec Bannon.
Bloom, Molly (Marion Tweed)
The wife of Leopold Bloom who has an affair with fellow singer, Blazes Boylan, on June 16, 1904. Molly is a Spaniard, originally from Gibraltar. As she is aging and growing less attractive, Molly becomes disgruntled with her married life and engages in an affair with Boylan, though this too seems to leave her unsatisfied. On a thematic level, Molly plays the role of Penelope to Bloom's Ulysses, though she is unfaithful, a contrast with the Greek original. Molly's thoughts in the final "Penelope" section are noted for the frankness with which issues of marriage, sex and emotions are discussed. Molly's maiden name is Marion Tweed, and this is the name that she often uses when professionally singing.
the father of Leopold Bloom, who committed suicide in an Italianhotel in 1886. His original name was Rudolph Virag and the discussion of suicide in the "Hades" brings his death to Leopold's mind. The widower of Ellen Higgins, Rudolph's ghost appears in the "Circe" chapter which takes place in Nighttown.
the son of Leopold and Molly Bloom. Rudy died on January 9, 1894 when he was 11 days old. The dead child represents the fact that there will be no future Bloom descendants, despite Leopold's longing for a son who may become the Messiah. Leopold's vision of Rudy appears at the end of the "Circe" chapter at the age he would have been had he lived. He is unobservant of Leopold and carries a lamb.
a Dublin singer who has sex with Molly Bloom on the afternoon of June 16, 1904. Boylan is a contrast to Leopold Bloom in many respects and he appears in several chapters. In the "Wandering Rocks" chapter we discover that Boylan is simply a flirt, a rather shallow individual. Evidently, Boylan is considered by his colleagues to be the "best man in Dublin" as is noted in the "Hades" chapter. Again in "Sirens" and in "Circe," Boylan is hailed as a sexual conqueror, and in "Penelope," Molly suggests that he had four orgasms during their tryst. Despite his popularity, Molly also reveals that she found his boorish, unromantic demeanor to be offensive. Further, Boylan loses money in a horserace, betting on a horse named Sceptre that was heavily favored to win. In this regard, Joyce hints that Bloom, an outsider like the horse named Throwaway, may be ultimately successful in spite of the odds stacked against him.
the husband of Josie Breen. He has received a postcard with "U.P.: up" written on it, and is now trying to sue for libel. He worries his wife Josie, and is mocked by Dubliners in "the Cyclops"
the wife of Denis Breen who is worried that her husband is becoming crazy. Molly mocks her in "Penelope."
Leopold Bloom patronizes his pub after leaving the beastly Burton Hotel in "The Lestrygonians." Byrne discusses Bloom with his friend Nosey Flynn an while they agree that he is an upstanding person, they also agree that he is noncommittal, standoffish and ambivalent.
young woman who appears in "Nausicaa" on the beach with her friend Gertrude McDowell. She also appears in Bloom's hallucination during "Circe"
Carr, Harry (Pvt)
a British private in "Circe." He strikes Stephen after accusing him of threatening the king. Private Carr is seen with Private Compton as well as an Irish young lady who he intends to spend the rest of the night with. Private Carr is a symbol of the British oppression of the comparatively weaker Ireland.
the villain in the "Cyclops" episode that takes place in Kiernan's Pub. Citizen is Joyce's satire of anti-Semitic, rabid patriotism. At the end of the chapter, Citizen throws a biscuit tin at Bloom's head but he misses, blinded by the sun in his eye. As a parallel to the Cyclops Polyphemus, the Citizen is blind-both intellectually and physically.
the pen-pal of Bloom's alter-ego "Henry Flower." Bloom receives one of Clifford's letters in "Lotus Eaters" and while Bloom considered the letter-writing to be an escape from his depressing marriage, Clifford's desire to meet becomes equally concerning.
a student of Stephen Dedalus. His inattentiveness in class is depicted at the beginning of "Nestor."
Coffey, Father Francis
the priest who performs the burial of Paddy Dignam which takes place in Glasnevin Cemetery. This occurs in the "Hades" chapter and Coffey is considered to be a parallel to the three-headed Cerberus of Greek myth, who monitors the gates of Hades.
the woman who runs the brothel where Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom spend much of their time in Nighttown. Bella works in Nighttown to support her son who is studying in Oxford and when Stephen breaks one of her chandeliers, Cohen tries to rob him of his money. In one of Bloom's emasculating hallucinations, Bella (a parallel to Circe) assumes the name Bello and becomes Bloom's masculine and sexually dominating master.
Conmee, Father John
a character from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, who appears at the beginning of "The Wandering Rocks," remembering his time at Clongowes Wood College. Stephen's days at Clongowes are the subject matter of Portrait.
a young man in "Eumaeus," who borrows money from Stephen as he heads for the cabman's shelter. Corley is living as a wastrel, having exhausted the benefits of his noble upbringing.
Cowley, "Father" Bob
a corrupt priest who appears in "The Wandering Rocks."
appears in "Aeolus" as the Editor of the Evening Telegraph. He refuses the bargain that Bloom has made with Alexander Keyes regarding the advertisement for the House of Keyes. He is unnecessarily terse with Bloom, during their conversation.
one of the men with whom Bloom shares the carriage to Glasnevin Cemetery for the burial of Paddy Dignam, in "Hades." Martin's wife has lost her mind and she is in the habit of selling the family furniture to pawn shops. Cunningham is also present in "The Cyclops" chapter, leaving Kiernan's Pub and accompanying Bloom to visit the Dignam widow.
a satirized patriot whose speech is printed in the morning paper. He is mentioned in "Hades" and again in "Aeolus."
the windy headmaster of the school where Stephen Dedalus teaches. Deasy is a parallel to "Nestor," and Stephen Dedalus obliges Deasy by having his ridiculous letter (about Irish cattle) printed in the Evening Telegraph.
a daughter of Simon Dedalus who derides him in absentia in "Wandering Rocks."
a daughter of Stephen Dedalus who appears in "Wandering Rocks." After accosting her father outside of a pub in the hopes of getting money for food, Dilly receives a coin and uses it to by a French primer.
a daughter of Stephen Dedalus who fails in her attempt to pawn the books of her brother Stephen.
Dedalus, May "Mary"
the mother of Stephen Dedalus who begs him to pray at her deathbed. Stephen is haunted by thoughts of Mary Dedalus and her ghost appears to him, in "Circe."
Stephen's sociable and alcoholic father. The widower of Mary Dedalus, Simon allows the Dedalus girls to go hungry as he squanders his time and money throughout Dublin. Simon Dedalus attends Dignam's funeral in "Hades," and is present in "Aeolus" and "The Sirens."
Dedalus, Stephen "Kinch"
Joyce's autobiographical young hero who first appears in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Stephen is one of Joyce's two major characters in Ulysses, and her plays the role of "Telemachus" to Leopold Bloom's "Ulysses." Stephen is a schoolteacher who has returned to Dublin after spending time in Paris. Throughout the hours of June 16, Simon is obsessed alternately by the recent death of his mother, his spiritual departure from Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church, Shakespeare and Hamlet, as well as his own literary bard-like ambitions. Stephen's self-esteem suffers at the hands of his friends, particularly his roommate Malachi "Buck" Mulligan. Mulligan has nicknamed Stephen, Kinch, which means knife-presumably a patronizing reference to Stephen's wit.
Dignam, Patrick "Paddy"
the dead acquaintance of Leopold Bloom who is buried at Glasnevin Cemetary in "Hades." Dignam, who died in a drunken stupor, is considered to be Joyce's parallel to Elpenor, who greets Ulysses in the underworld, having suffered for his own drunken excesses.
the son of the dead Patrick Dignam who appears twice in "Wandering Rocks." The young man is unable to concentrate on the magnitude of his father's death and is instead concerned about his shirt collar. Dignam also considers how his friends and teachers may regard him as a celebrity once the news is printed in the paper.
a doctor who recently removed a bee sting from Bloom's side.
the owner of the butcher shop where Bloom buys a liver in "Calypso." Dlugacz is a Hungarian Jew, like Bloom, who sees an advertisement for fledgling Jewish settlements in the Promised Land. Presumably a practicing Jew, Dlugacz is a contrast to Bloom who has become an apostate.
Dodd, Reuben J.
a Dubliner whose stinginess in derided in "Hades." When Dodd's son attempted suicide by drowning, he was rescued by a passerby to whom Dodd offered a mere florin of gratittude.
a popular Dubliner who is known for his large size and singing talent. In "The Sirens," Dollard appears in the bar of the Ormond, where he sings the patriotic ballad, "The Croppy Boy." Molly once described Dollard's as a "barreltone" voice, referring to his barrel-size and the fact that he is a baritone.
a Dubliner who celebrates his annual drinking binge in Kiernan's pub. The drunk performs a somewhat sinister role alongside Citizen in "Cyclops."
a barmaid who works at the Ormond Hotel. The bronze-haired Dubliner first appears in "Wandering Rocks" before playing the role of a Siren alongside Mina Kennedy in the next chapter, "The Sirens."
a maid who was fired by Molly, who grew jealous of Leopold Bloom's alleged interest in her. Driscoll appears in one of Leopold's hallucinations in "Circe" and again in Molly's thoughts in "Penelope."
an Irish expatriate who is living in Paris. In "Proteus," Stephen remembers him as he is wandering Sandymount strand.
a patronizing essayist who appears in "Scylla and Charybdis." Eglinton rejects Stephen's philosophizing during their discussion in the Dublin's National Library.
a Dubliner whose habit of walking outside of lampposts is referred to and presented in several of the novel's chapters.
Fitzharris, James "Skin-the-Goat"
a mysterious figure who allegedly drove the decoy car after the 1882 Phoenix Park Assassinations. In "Eumaeus," there is discussion that Fizharris is the owner of the cabman's shelter where Bloom takes Stephen.
a Dubliner who compliments Bloom when he frequents Davy Byrne's pub in "The Lestrygonians."
the menacing dog in "The Cyclops." Garryowen appears with the Citizen in Kiernan's pub, though he is owned by a man named Giltrap, the grandfather of Gerty MacDowell who Leopold Bloom encounters in "Nausicaa."
Goulding, Uncle Richie
the brother of Stephen Dedalus' mother, Mary Dedalus. In "Proteus," Stephen considers visiting the Gouldings, though he decides against it. Richie Goulding is Leopold Bloom's dining partner in the solemn dining room of the Ormond Hotel in "The Sirens." Gouding's daily doses of backache pills do little for the decrepitude he now suffers because of the (alcoholic) excesses of his youth.
a character of Irish folksong whose moniker identifies the old milkmaid of "Telemachus." As "Mother Grogan," the old milkmaid is twice the victim of Mulligan's unfettered wit.
the British and anti-Semitic student from Oxford who lives in Martello Tower. In "Telemachus," we learn that Oxonian is in Ireland to study Irish folklore and in "Scylla and Charybdis," we learn that he and Mulligan have been invited to a literary event.
Hely, Charles Wisdom
a printer for whom Bloom once worked. Hely has hired five men who advertise his establishment (Hely's) by wearing red letters on large white hats (to spell out H-E-L-Y-S). The men wander Dublin and appear in "The Lestrygonians" and "Wandering Rocks."
the deceased mother of Leopold Bloom and wife of Rudolph Bloom. The ghosts of Ellen Higgins and her husband appear to their son, Leopold, on the streets of Nighttown, early on in "Circe."
a prostitute in Bella Cohen's brothel. This namesake of Leopold Bloom's mother, also appears in "Circe" where she takes Bloom's potato away from him and contributes to the mocking hostility of the brothel.
Horne, Andrew J.
a doctor in Dublin's National Maternity Hospital and celebrated in "The Oxen of the Sun" for his assistance in the three-day labor of Mina Purefoy. His name, "Horne" (Horn), is a reference to the golden Oxen of the corresponding Homeric episode.
the reporter in "Hades" who submits an erroneous account of Dignam's funeral. Hynes owes Bloom money and ignores Bloom's multiple attempts to collect what is owed. Hynes appears again in "The Cyclops" where he can afford to purchase drinks for himself and his friends.
a prostitute who Stephen has visited. Stephen paid for Johnson's services with the last of the money borrowed from George Russell.
an undertaker's employee. In "Eumaeus," Kelleher rejects Bloom's call for assistance on behalf of the unconscious Stephen who has been assaulted by the British Private Carr on the streets of Nighttown. Kelleher is also on display as part of the Dublin scenery in the second section of "Wandering Rocks," entering figures in his daybook while chewing and spitting "hayjuice."
a gold-haired barmaid at the Ormond Hotel who appears alongside fellow barmaid, Lydia Douce, in "Wandering Rocks" and the subsequent chapter where she and Douce play the role of the Sirens.
the owner of the House of Keyes, a teashop. The advertisement for the House of Keyes begins as a simple project for Bloom, but its convolutions become the source of Bloom's troubles in "Aeolus" and necessitate his trip to the National Library in "Scylla and Charybdis."
a Dubliner whose disrespect for Bloom is depicted in "Aeolus" when he dances a mazurka as an attempt to emulate Bloom's gait. Later, in "Wandering Rocks," Lenehan bores an uninterested M'Coy with his story of an alleged sexual encounter with Bloom's wife, Molly.
a Judas-like friend of Stephen Dedalus. Lynch is present in the National Maternity Hospital in "Oxen of the Sun," and in "Circe," Lynch is impatient in regards to Stephen's drunken stumbling. After helping to spend the wages that Stephen received from Deasy that morning, Lynch deserts Dedalus upon exiting Cohen's establishment.
a Dubliner who misunderstands Bloom's comment in "Lotus-Eaters" and presumes it to be a tip on the racehorse Throwaway. In "The Lestrygonians," Lyons shares this presumed tip with his fellow gamblers, Nosey Flynn and Davy Byrne.
the "Quaker Librarian," whose National Library is the setting of "Scylla and Charybdis."
an old woman who Stephen sees in "Proteus," imagining her as an ancient midwife. Later, in "Aeolus," Stephen tells the Parable of the Plums and names one of its characters Florence MacCabe.
MacDowell, Gertrude "Gerty"
a young woman whose beach-side flirtation with Bloom establishes her as a parallel to Homer's Nausicaa, for whom the chapter is named. Even as she is baby-sitting, accompanied by her friend Cissy Caffrey, Gerty flashes Bloom with a sight of her thighs and undergarments. MacDowell's name, "Gertrude," suggests a parallel to the tragic and unfaithful mother of Prince Hamlet. Additionally, Gertrude's grandfather, Giltrap, is the owner of Garryowen, a menacing dog appearing in "The Cyclops."
a contributor to the newspaper office's discussions of politics, featured in "Aeolus."
an unknown guest at Dignam's funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery whose only discernable characteristic is the fact that he is wearing a Mc'Intosh (raincoat). While the character only appears once (in "Hades,") he is recalled in "Eumaeus," when Bloom, reading Hynes' newspaper article, notes that Hynes has named the man Mc'Intosh.
M'Coy, C. P.
a man who is known for borrowing luggage and pawning it. Bloom encounters him in "Lotus Eaters," and obliges M'Coy by adding his name to the list of those present at Dignam's funeral. M'Coy is present in "Wandering Rocks," and he coolly rebuffs Lenehan's tasteless boast of an alleged romantic encounter with Molly Bloom.
a guest at Dignam's funeral in "Hades." Menton, a solicitor, dismisses Bloom well-intentioned remark that his hat had a dent in it. We are to assume that Menton's mistreatment of Bloom dates to their rivalry for Molly's hand.
Mulligan, Malachi "Buck"
the brave and sociable roommate of Stephen Dedalus. Mulligan's extroverted personality is a contrast to Stephen and Mulligan's patronizing and cruel treatment of Stephen escalates to a physical altercation before the two separate, perhaps permanently. Mulligan's most defining characteristic is his sacrilegious and cynical sense of humor. Stephen considers Mulligan to be a "usurper," having ostracized Stephen from his own home, Martello Tower.
Murphy, W. B. (Senor A. Boudin)
a sailor in "Eumaeus." He entertains the patrons of the cabman's shelter with his autobiographical stories. Murphy bears a strong resemblance to Ulysses who also sailed the seas before returning home, unsure of what has happened in his absence.
Nannetti, Joseph Patrick
a newspaper foreman who is the boss of Leopold Bloom. In "Aeolus," Nannetti ignores Bloom who unsure how to proceed with the Keyes advertisement.
appears in the overcrowded newspaper offices in "Aeolus," accidentally hitting Bloom with a door.
a waiter in the restaurant of the Ormond Hotel. In "The Sirens," Pat waits on the table shared by Leopold Bloom and Richie Goulding.
an occupant of the carriage that Bloom takes to Dignam's funeral in Glasnevin Cemetery. Early in "Hades," Jack discusses suicide, unaware that Bloom's father killed himself. Power is also present at Barney Kiernan's pub when the Cyclops character, Citizen, terrorizes Bloom.
the wife of Theodore Purefoy who appears in "The Oxen of the Sun." In a street-side discussion with Mrs. Breen, Leopold Bloom learns that Mrs. Purefoy (Pure-faith) has been in labor for three days. Bloom visits Mina in the National Maternity Hospital soon before she gives birth to a healthy son.
Russell, George "A.E."
a literary figure who participates in the National Library conversation which occurs in "Scylla and Charybdis." Russell has previously lent money to Stephen and in "The Lestrygonians," Bloom sees Russell bicycling with Lizzie Twigg.
an incompetent student of Simon Dedalus. In "Nestor," Sargent's weakness reminds Stephen of his own failures.
Sweny, F. W.
the apothecary in "Lotus-Eaters." Bloom buys a bar of lemon soap from Sweny. Bloom is supposed to return for Molly's lotion later in the day but he forgets.
a student of Stephen Dedalus. His transparent cheating techniques are displayed in "Nestor."
a respondent to Bloom's advertisement for a typist. Bloom has rejected Lizzie Twigg in favor of Martha Clifford and in "The Lestrygonians," Bloom sees Twigg bicycling with George Russell.
Ward, William Humble (Earl of Dudley)
the face of British occupation. The afternoon trek of his viceregal carriages provides the chronological structure of "Wandering Rocks."
Ulysses Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ulysses is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
No one is certain why Joyce chose June 16th as the setting for his novel. Nothing of importance happened on that specific day, though, it is speculated that Joyce chose the day as kind of gift for his soon to be wife, Nora. June 16th was the first...
The main theme in Ulysses is the desire for adventure, a desire to indulge in things that give meaning to our lives. Tellyson shares this sense of adventure, but bases his story on the character of Odysseus in The Odyssey.