In Proteus Stephen thinks of a recent drowning in Dublin Bay and associates it with his inability to save his dying mother: "A drowning man. His human eyes scream to me out of horror of his death. I... With him together down... I could not save her. Waters: bitter death: lost." Later in the same chapter he anticipates the recovery of the drowned man's body and imagines "the stench of his green grave." In both passages he is recalling a complex of associations that crowded into his mind in Telemachus, linking the green seawater with the death of his mother, and linking his fear of drowning with his fear of being swallowed up in guilt.

Dublin Bay photographed from the air in 2006 by Peter Barrow. The Sandycove tower stands on the small spit of rocky land near the upper right of the photo, beyond the massive Kingstown Harbor. Source: