"He who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord. Thus spake Zarathustra." Thornton notes that Mulligan is aggressively parodying the language of Proverbs 19:17: “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.” In his ingratiatingly self-mocking way, he is also parodying the parabolic style of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra and its message of self-overcoming, which has often been mistaken for simple self-aggrandizement.

JH 2011

The parabolic figures of Thus Spake Zarathustra (camel, lion, child), by an unknown artist. Source: kubrickfilms.tripod.com.