The bits of Deasy's letter that we receive through Stephen's interior monologue are sometimes easily intelligible, sometimes elusive. The point of his "Pardoned . . . classical allusion" (sorry, it's a way we learned schoolmasters have) to "Cassandra" seems obvious enough: Deasy is a prophet whom no one heeds. But who is the "woman who was no better than she should be," and why is Deasy misogynistically commenting on her virtue?

JH 2012

Cassandra clinging to the statue of Athena in the goddess' temple, while Ajax pulls her away to rape her, in the tondo of a cup by the Kodros painter, ca. 440-430 BC, held in the Louvre, Paris. Source: Wikimedia Commons.