I only learned recently that Ulysses is the Latin version of the Greek name Odysseus. It made me wonder why Joyce chose it over the Greek for his novel Ulysses.

Apparently there's a very prosaic reason which is that this is the name under which Joyce, as a child, first learned about the character in a book. However given Joyce's proclivity for wrapping layers of meaning in his work I find it hard to believe that's all there is to it.

In Roman literature, Ulysses wasn't celebrated as a hero like he was in Greek. Rather, his penchant for deception was seen as dishonourable and roguish. Does Bloom's behaviour in some way violate the norms of behaviour in turn of the century Dublin? Or is there something else at play.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.