In Telemachus Mulligan says, "The aunt thinks you killed your mother" and he reproaches Stephen: "You could have knelt down, damn it, Kinch, when your dying mother asked you." Here he resembles his model Oliver Gogarty, who casually declared to all his acquaintances “that Joyce was ‘mad,’ and ‘had killed his mother by telling her what he thought’” (Ellmann, 173). But Mulligan overstates the facts, assuming that they were similar to those surrounding Joyce’s mother’s death in August 1903, and Stephen's confrontation with his mother in Circe suggests that, rather than acting from cavalier disregard for her, he felt mortally threatened by the demand to kneel down before a God whom he had pledged in A Portrait of the Artist not to serve any longer. The filial guilt prompted by his dream of the dead woman is nothing compared to his terrified feeling that she has returned from the afterlife to reproach him for impiety and demand that he "Repent!"

JH 2011

May Murray Joyce surrounded by her father John Murray, her son James (age 6), and her husband John. Source: Ellmann, courtesy of Mrs. May Joyce Monaghan.