Coloured signs

Stephen's repetition of "coloured signs" after the phrase "Signatures of all things" in the previous sentence might indicate a continuing meditation on the thoughts of Jakob Boehme, but Gifford hears in this phrase an allusion to the comparably idealistic thoughts of the Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley. Stephen is probably pondering Berkeley at the beginning of Proteus, and certainly near the end of the episode when he thinks of "the good bishop of Cloyne" reading the world as if it is a sacred text. Berkeley was a bishop in the Church of Ireland.

John Hunt 2014

Oil portrait of Bishop George Berkeley by John Smybert, 1727. Source: Wikimedia Commons.