Episode 11: Sirens (Literary technique: Fuga per canonem (fugue or polyphony by rule: weaving of various voices and motifs in counterpoint to one another). Art: Music. Time: 38 40 pm. Place: Ormond Hotel


[Robert Emmet’s Speech from the Dock



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[Robert Emmet’s Speech from the Dock:
My Lords:

What have I to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced on me according to law? I have nothing to say that can alter your predetermination, nor that it will become me to say with any view to the mitigation of that sentence which you are here to pronounce, and I must abide by. But I have that to say which interests me more than life, and which you have labored (as was necessarily your office in the present circumstances of this oppressed country) to destroy. I have much to say why my reputation should be rescued from the load of false accusation and calumny which has been heaped upon it. I do not imagine that, seated where you are, your minds can be so free from impurity as to receive the least impression from what I am going to utter--I have no hopes that I can anchor my character in the breast of a court constituted and trammeled as this is--I only wish, and it is the utmost I expect, that your lordships may suffer it to float down your memories untainted by the foul breath of prejudice, until it finds some more hospitable harbor to shelter it from the storm by which it is at present buffeted.

Was I only to suffer death after being adjudged guilty by your tribunal, I should bow in silence and meet the fate that awaits me without a murmur; but the sentence of law which delivers my body to the executioner will, through the ministry of that law, labor in its own vindication to consign my character to obloquy--for there must be guilt somewhere: whether in the sentence of the court in the catastrophe, posterity must determine. A man in my situation, my lords, has not only to encounter the difficulties of fortune. and the force of power over minds which it has corrupted or subjugated. but the difficulties of established prejudice: the man dies, but his memory lives. That mine may not perish, that it may live in the respect of my countrymen, I seize upon this opportunity to vindicate myself from some of the charges alleged against me. When my spirit shall be wafted to a more friendly port; when my shade shall have joined the bands of those martyred heroes who have shed their blood on the scaffold and in the field, in defense of their country and of virtue. this is my hope: I wish that my memory and name may animate those who survive me, while I look down with complacency on the destruction of that perfidious government which upholds its domination by blasphemy of the Most High-which displays its power over man as over the beasts of the forest-which sets man upon his brother, and lifts his hand in the name of God against the throat of his fellow who believes or doubts a little more or a little less than the government standard--a government which is steeled to barbarity by the cries of the orphans and the tears of the widows which it has made.

[Interruption by the court.]

I appeal to the immaculate God--I swear by the throne of heaven, before which I must shortly appear--by the blood of the murdered patriots who have gone before me that my conduct has been through all this peril and all my purposes governed only by the convictions which I have uttered, and by no other view than that of their cure, and the emancipation of my country from the superinhuman oppression under which she has so long and too patiently travailed; and that I confidently and assuredly hope that, wild and chimerical as it may appear, there is still union and strength in Ireland to accomplish this noble enterprise. of this I speak with the confidence of intimate knowledge, and with the consolation that appertains to that confidence. Think not, my lords, I say this for the petty gratification of giving you a transitory uneasiness; a man who never yet raised his voice to assert a lie will not hazard his character with posterity by asserting a falsehood on a subject so important to his country, and on an occasion like this. Yes. my lords. a man who does not wish to have his epitaph written until his country is liberated will not leave a weapon in the power of envy, nor a pretense to impeach the probity which he means to preserve even in the grave to which tyranny consigns him.

[Interruption by the court.]

Again I say, that what I have spoken was not intended for your lordship, whose situation I commiserate rather than envy-my expressions were for my countrymen; if there is a true Irishman present. let my last words cheer him in the hour of his affliction.

[Interruption by the court.]

I have always understood it to be the duty of a judge. when a prisoner has been convicted, to pronounce the sentence of the law; I have also understood that judges sometimes think it their duty to hear with patience and to speak with humanity. to exhort the victim of the laws. and to offer with tender benignity his opinions of the motives by which he was actuated in the crime, of which he had been adjudged guilty: that a judge has thought it his duty so to have done. I have no doubt--but where is the boasted freedom of your institutions. where is the vaunted impartiality, clemency. and mildness of your courts of justice, if an unfortunate prisoner, whom your policy, and not pure justice. is about to deliver into the hands of the executioner. is not suffered to explain his motives sincerely and truly. and to vindicate the principles by which he was actuated?

My lords, it may be a part of the system of angry justice, to bow a man's mind by humiliation to the purposed ignominy of the scaffold; but worse to me than the purposed shame, or the scaffold's terrors, would be the shame of such unfounded imputations as have been laid against me in this court: you, my lord [Lord Norbury], are a judge. I am the supposed culprit; I am a man, you are a man also; by a revolution of power, we might change places, though we never could change characters; if I stand at the bar of this court and dare not vindicate my character, what a farce is your justice? If I stand at this bar and dare not vindicate my character. flow dare you calumniate it? Does the sentence of death which your unhallowed policy inflicts on my body also condemn my tongue to silence and my reputation to reproach? Your executioner may abridge the period of my existence. but while I exist I shall not forbear to vindicate my character and motives from your aspersions: and as a man to whom fame is dearer than life, I will make the last use of that life in doing justice to that reputation which is to live after me, and which is the only legacy I can leave to those I honor and love, and for whom I am proud to perish. As men, my lord, we must appear at the great day at one common tribunal. and it will then remain for the searcher of all hearts to show a collective universe who was engaged in the most virtuous actions. or actuated by the purest motives-my country's oppressors or--

[Interruption by the court.]

My lord, will a dying man be denied the legal privilege of exculpating himself, in the eyes of the community, of an undeserved reproach thrown upon him during his trial, by charging him with ambition and attempting to cast away, for a paltry consideration. the liberties of his country? Why did your lordship insult me? or rather why insult justice. in demanding of me why sentence of death should not be pronounced? I know, my lord, that form prescribes that you should ask the question; the form also presumes a right of answering. This no doubt may be dispensed with--and so might the whole ceremony of trial, since sentence was already pronounced at the castle, before your jury was impaneled; your lordships are but the priests of the oracle, and I submit; but I insist on the whole of the forms.

I am charged with being an emissary of France An emissary of France? And for what end? It is alleged that I wished to sell the independence of my country? And for what end? Was this the object of my ambition? And is this the mode by which a tribunal of justice reconciles contradictions? No, I am no emissary; and my ambition was to hold a place among the deliverers of my country--not in power, nor in profit, but in the glory of the achievement!...

Connection with Prance was indeed intended, but only as far as mutual interest would sanction or require. Were they to assume any authority inconsistent with the purest independence. it would be the signal for their destruction: we sought aid, and we sought it, as we had assurances we should obtain it--as auxiliaries in war and allies in peace...

I wished to procure for my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America. To procure an aid, which, by its example, would be as important as its valor, disciplined. gallant, pregnant with science and experience; which would perceive the good and polish the rough points of our character. They would come to us as strangers and leave us as friends, after sharing in our perils and elevating our destiny. These were my objects--not to receive new taskmasters hilt to expel old tyrants: these were my views. and these only became Irishmen. It was for these ends I sought aid from France; because France, even as an enemy. could not he more implacable than the enemy already in the bosom of my country.

[Interruption by the court.]

I have been charged with that importance in the efforts to emancipate my country. as to be considered the keystone of the combination of Irishmen; or, as Your Lordship expressed it, "the life and blood of conspiracy." You do me honor overmuch. You have given to the subaltern all the credit of a superior. There are men engaged in this conspiracy, who are not only superior to me but even to your own conceptions of yourself, my lord; men, before the splendor of whose genius and virtues, I should bow with respectful deference, and who would think themselves dishonored to be called your friend--who would not disgrace themselves by shaking your bloodstained hand--

[Interruption by the court]

What, my lord, shall you tell me, on the passage to that scaffold. Which that tyranny. of which you are only the intermediary executioner. Has erected for my murder. that I am accountable for all the blood that has and will be shed in this struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor?--shall you tell me this--and must I be so very a slave as not to repel it?

I do not fear to approach the omnipotent Judge, to answer for the conduct of my whole life; and am I to be appalled and falsified by a mere remnant of mortality here? By you. too. who, if it were possible to collect all the innocent blood that you have shed in your unhallowed ministry, in one great reservoir. Your Lordship might swim in it.

[Interruption by the court.]

Let no man dare, when I am dead. to charge me with dishonor; let no man attaint my memory by believing that I could have engaged in any cause but that of my country's liberty and independence, or that I could have become the pliant minion of power in the oppression or the miseries of my countrymen. The proclamation of the provisional government speaks for our views; no inference can he tortured from it to countenance barbarity or debasement at home, or subjection. humiliation. or treachery from abroad; I would not have submitted to a foreign oppressor for the same reason that I would resist the foreign and domestic oppressor: in the dignity of freedom I would have fought upon the threshold of my country, and its enemy should enter only by passing over my lifeless corpse. Am I, who lived but for my country, and who have subjected myself to the dangers of the jealous and watchful oppressor, and the bondage of the grave, only to give my countrymen their rights, and my country her independence, and am I to be loaded with calumny and not suffered to resent or repel it--no, God forbid!

If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in the concerns and cares of those who are dear to them in this transitory life--oh, ever dear and venerated shade of my departed father. look down with scrutiny upon the conduct of your suffering son; and see if I have even for a moment deviated from those principles of morality and patriotism which it was your care to instill into my youthful mind, and for which I am now to offer up my life!

My lords, you are impatient for the sacrifice-the blood which you seek is not congealed by the artificial terrors which surround your victim; it circulates warmly and unruffled, through the channels which God created for noble purposes. but which you are bent to destroy. for purposes so grievous. that they cry to heaven. Be yet patient! I have but a few words more to say. I am going to my cold and silent grave: my lamp of life is nearly e4inguished: my race is run: the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom! I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world--it is the charity of its silence! Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them. let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.]



Bloom looks at a picture of Robert Emmet and his last words: “Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dares now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth then and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”
Seabloom, greaseabloom viewed last words. Softly. WHEN MY COUNTRY

TAKES HER PLACE AMONG.
Prrprr.
Must be the bur.
Fff! Oo. Rrpr.
NATIONS OF THE EARTH. No-one behind. She's passed. THEN AND NOT TILL

THEN. Tram kran kran kran. Good oppor. Coming. Krandlkrankran. I'm

sure it's the burgund. Yes. One, two. LET MY EPITAPH BE. Kraaaaaa.

WRITTEN. I HAVE.
Pprrpffrrppffff.
DONE.
Commentary
Chapter is named for the enchantresses in the Odyssey who captivate passing sailors with their singing and lure them to death on the beaches of their island. By having himself bound hand and foot to the mast of his ship and putting wax in the ears of his men, Ulysses manages to hear the Sirens without being lured to disaster. In this chapter, the Sirens are a pair of sexy barmaids at the bar of the Ormond Hotel where Bloom takes a late afternoon meal in the adjoining restaurant. Like Ulysses, Bloom is tempted by the seductive power of music, in particular by songs of love and sentimental nationalism, but he resists its enchanting power and critically observes its narcotic effect on those around him, including Stephen’s father, Simon, and uncle, Richie Goulding. Toward the end of the chapter, Bloom quietly leaves the bar and then makes—at the very end—a most remarkable comment on Irish nationalism.
Form: fuga per canonem: a fugue according to rule. Fugue=basic theme or melody flies from one voice part or instrument to another. Subject, answer, countersubject, a climax, and a coda.
Subject: the Siren’s song: barmaids’ chatter

Answer: Bloom’s entry and monologue

Countersubject: Blazes Boylan and the seduction

Climax: Simon Dedalus hitting the last high note of the aria

Coda: Bloom’s fart.
Begins with an overture: stream of short sentences, phrases, and words that anticipate the full melody of incidents that follow [sent to England during the war, censors suspected it was code]. Throughout Joyce mimics in language the distinctive musical elements of chord, counterpoint, and trill:
Chord: When Simon finishes singing Lionel’s aria from opera Martha, we find the name “Siopold,” a chord made of three names Simon, Lionel, and Leopold.
Counterpoint: Richie’s Goulding’s account of Simon Dedalus’s singing is interwoven with lines of the song.
Trill: long word used for Molly’s wavy hair.
Paradoxically, this chapter exploits all the resources of music only to show us—finally—how dangerous, delusive, and mind-numbing they can be:


  • Music=seduction: Boylan’s pretext for visiting Molly is to discuss the program for her concert, which includes a duet of seduction from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

  • Bloom’s daughter, Milly, reports in a letter that a young man has been courting her by means of a song composed by someone named Boylan.

  • Thus, Bloom’s wife and daughter are each targeted for seduction by means of a piece of music tied to Blazes Boylan.

  • Theme of seduction by music reinforced by parallels with Odyssey:

Sirens lure passing sailors to disaster by their song.


Miss Douce snaps her garter to sound the hour of 4.00 as Boylan looks on.
Sirens’ song about the Trojan War has its counterpart in a song called “The Croppy Boy.”
Croppy Boy: a ballad designed to make every Irish nationalist drown in pity: tells the story of a boy caught up in the doomed rebellion of the Irish against the English in 1798. Having seen his father and all his brothers killed before him, the Croppy Boy (a Wexford rebel who cropped his hair) was hanged when he made his confession to a false priest (an English captain dressed in clerical robes).
Like Ulysses, Bloom contrives to hear the music without getting captured by it.


  • The men at the bar, as Bloom observes, “all lost in pity for croppy.” He alone cares about the suffering of his own contemporaries, such as Mina Purefoy in labor and even Ben Dollard himself, the singer, ruined by drink.

  • Just as Ulysses enlists the help of sailors whose ears are stuffed with wax, Bloom asks a deaf waiter to open the door between the restaurant and the bar so that he can hear the music.

  • Bloom like Ulysses is determined to see and hear everything in the course of his travels. He enjoys the “glorious tone” of Simon Dedalus’s voice. Shares Ulysses’ determination to survive and complete his journey, by using his mind.

  • Because Simon sings Lionel aria to Martha at the very moment when Bloom is writing a letter to Martha Clifford, he is struck by the coincidence. We might easily imagine that the lovesick Lionel of the opera might speak for the lonely, long-suffering Bloom. But Bloom thinks more of Molly than Martha: He finds Martha’s language ridiculous and is bored by the task of writing to her; sound of the the love song makes him think of the night he first met Molly; thought of Molly is one of the ways in which Bloom resists the enchantments of music.

  • By farting at the end of the chapter, Bloom “sings” his critique of the sentimental nationalism that turned the last words of Robert Emmet, the doomed patriot, into something like the last words of Christ.



Episode 12: Cyclops (Literary technique: Gigantism: inflated prose of the Celtic Revival with their propensity toward hyperbolic description). Art: Politics. Time: 4.45-5.45 pm. Place: Barney Kiernan’s pub (8-10 Little Britain St.).
The Cyclops finds his counterpart in the bigoted Citizen, the cave has become Barney Kiernan’s, the burning stake=Bloom’s cigar; rock hurled after the departing Odysseus=the biscuit tin. Blinding central theme here, as well as mono-view vs. multiple views. Episode concerned with the national question and nationality in which Joyce exposes the underlying xenophobia behind a number of nationalist myths. Bloom=cosmopolism vs. nostalgic isolationism.
Bloom has an appointment with Cunningham and Power at Barney Kiernan’s. In order to avoid meeting acquaintances at what for him is now a troubling time of the day (Molly’s tryst with Boylan), he follows a slightly devious route from Ormond Quay via Pill Lane (Chancery St.), Greek St., and the rear of the markets. Despite his prudence, Bloom is recognized by the narrator—a debt collector—who has just come from trying to extract payment from Michael Geraghty in Arbour Hill. The narrator sees Bloom while on his way to Arbour Hill and sees Bloom again after having entered Kiernan’s with Joe Hynes. Bloom’s appointment with Cunningham and Power is likely for 5.00 pm. From the Ormond, Bloom has spent his time looking at the fish in the market and, as the Citizen states, “on point duty up and down” outside the pub “for the last ten minutes.” Cunningham and Power after returning from the funeral go to the Castle. At about 3.30, they leave, having arranged to use an official car to drive to the Dignam’s. The car is first sent to wait for them at Kavanagh’s, while they walk down Parliament St. After spending approximately two hours apparently seeking out donors for the Dignam fund, they drive to Kiernan’s in the company of Crofton, who has joined them in the intervening period. All three enter the pub looking for Bloom.
Crofton, an Orangeman, adds to the religious and political tensions of the episode. At its end, reversing much of the route of Hades, Bloom, a semijew, finds himself in a carriage with three other people—this time two Catholics and a protestant—with Crofton taking the place of Simon Dedalus.
The car turns left from Little Britain St. and eventually travels south down Little Green St. on its way to Newbridge Ave. When we last see it, the car is still “rounding the corner” and pointing toward Donohoe’s pub at 4-5 Little Green St., facing southwest, and is, therefore, like Bloom’s trajectory, set at an angle of fortyfive degrees. The end recalls the end of the other episode concerned with Homeric giants—Lestrygonians—in which Bloom also evades by swerving to the right and is saved by the effects of the sun (“Light in his eyes”).
Ellmann points out that Joyce identified the unnamed narrator with Thersites in the Iliad, a deformed man who was the most impudent talker among the Greeks. In post-Homeric legend, he is said to have ridiculed Achilles’ grief at having killed the queen of the Amazons who had come to the aid of the Trojans, and was killed by the insulted Achilles. In Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare portrays Thersites as embittered and foul-mouthed, cynically celebrating “war and lechery”(II, iii, 82), calling for the curse of “Neapolitan boneache” (venereal disease) on the whole camp.
Narrator interrupted by 33 passages that comment on the narrative by parodying various pompous, sensational, or sentimental literary styles.

Narrator meets Joe Hynes after the near miss with a chimney sweep’s broom (recalling the blinding of the Cyclops) after talking to old Troy of the D.M.P. Narrator is trying to collect money from a Michael Geraghty (29 Arbour Hill) owed to Moses Herzog (13 St. Kevin’s Parade).
I was just passing the time of day with old Troy of the D. M. P. at the

corner of Arbour hill there and be damned but a bloody sweep came along

and he near drove his gear into my eye. I turned around to let him have

the weight of my tongue when who should I see dodging along Stony Batter

only Joe Hynes.
--Lo, Joe, says I. How are you blowing? Did you see that bloody

chimneysweep near shove my eye out with his brush?

--Soot's luck, says Joe. Who's the old ballocks you were talking to?
--Old Troy, says I, was in the force. I'm on two minds not to give that

fellow in charge for obstructing the thoroughfare with his brooms and

ladders.
--What are you doing round those parts? says Joe.
--Devil a much, says I. There's a bloody big foxy thief beyond by the

garrison church at the corner of Chicken lane--old Troy was just giving

me a wrinkle about him--lifted any God's quantity of tea and sugar to pay

three bob a week said he had a farm in the county Down off a

hop-of-my-thumb by the name of Moses Herzog over there near Heytesbury

street.
--Circumcised? says Joe.
--Ay, says I. A bit off the top. An old plumber named Geraghty. I'm

hanging on to his taw now for the past fortnight and I can't get a penny

out of him.
--That the lay you're on now? says Joe.
--Ay, says I. How are the mighty fallen! Collector of bad and doubtful

debts. But that's the most notorious bloody robber you'd meet in a day's

walk and the face on him all pockmarks would hold a shower of rain. TELL

HIM, says he, I DARE HIM, says he, AND I DOUBLEDARE HIM TO SEND YOU ROUND

HERE AGAIN OR IF HE DOES, says he, I'LL HAVE HIM SUMMONSED UP BEFORE THE

COURT, SO I WILL, FOR TRADING WITHOUT A LICENCE. And he after stuffing

himself till he's fit to burst. Jesus, I had to laugh at the little jewy

getting his shirt out. HE DRINK ME MY TEAS. HE EAT ME MY SUGARS. BECAUSE

HE NO PAY ME MY MONEYS?


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