"— Don't mope over it all day, he said. I'm inconsequent. Give up the moody brooding." Mulligan seems graciously self-deprecating here, but he is, in effect, saying that Stephen should grieve more moderately and less irrationally, and the novel manages to insinuate, by multiple allusions, that his motives are quite selfish. Although the word "brood" prompts him to quote immediately afterward from a gentle and goodnatured poem by Yeats, the chapter's ongoing allusions to Homer's Odyssey and Shakespeare's Hamlet link him to less savory advice-givers.

JH 2011

Mel Gibson as Hamlet and Glenn Close as Gertrude in Franco Zeffirelli's film (1990).