Joyce, Milton, and the Theory of Influence

By Patrick Colm Hogan | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 3
A Romantic Milton Masked with Dante Alighieri's Face: Joyce and Milton before Ulysses

1906 was, as Ellmann reports, a dry year for Joyce, and he did virtually no new writing. Dubliners had almost achieved its present shape, but still ended with the story '"Grace"--which, as Ellmann has pointed out (following Stanislaus), "employed the tripartite division of the Divine Comedy, beginning with the Inferno of a Dublin bar, proceeding to the Purgatorio of a drunkard's convalescence, and ending in the Paradiso of a highly secularized Dublin church" ( James Joyce 229). In this Paradiso, the stern spiritual guidance of virginal Beatrice is replaced by the worldly direction of a priest who has sold his spiritual principles for donations from the wealthy and who aptly takes his name from one of the streets in Dublin's brothel district: Father Purdon.

But Joyce felt something was missing in the collection (see SL109-10) and projected two further stories--"Ulysses" and "The Dead." He completed the latter and placed it after the Dantean "Grace." As far as I am aware, this is the first of Joyce's prose fiction that incorporates a direct reference to Milton. And it follows what are evidently his first borrowings from Dante into that genre as well.

Dubliners, Milton, and the Imperial British State

Parts of "The Dead" seem strongly if implicitly Miltonic. Most obviously, the names of Gabriel and Michael recall Milton, though these names are by no means exclusive to Paradise Lost. While the connection between the two Gabriels does not appear to go beyond their common name, and perhaps a


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Joyce, Milton, and the Theory of Influence


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 234

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?