Episode 1

Buck Mulligan goes onto the rooftop of the Martello Tower with a bowl and a razor for his morning shave. A tired Stephen Dedalus leans against a gun rest. Buck Mullgan has a strong physical presence and mocks everything from religion to the Greek association implied in the name Dedalus. He chants a clever parody of the opening of the Mass changing the name Christ to the feminine Christine as he holds out his shaving bowl deriding the holy ritual. Stephen wants Haines, a student over from Oxford, to move out as he spent the night terrified of his wild nightmare that had him looking for his gun to shoot a black panther. Buck Mulligan tries to placate Stephen by ridiculing the status driven Englishman and suggesting Stephen is the one who belongs to an elite intellectual pedigree. Stephen ignores the flattery and gives an ultimatum that if Haines stays he will move out. Mulligan sidesteps a reply by grabbing a dirty handkerchief from Stephen’s pocket and wiping his razor. Mulligan quotes from the Greek as he surveys Dublin Bay and romances the sea as our universal mother. Stephen joins him at the parapet and watches the mail-boat moving out of the harbour. Mulligan confronts Stephen for his refusal to pray at his mother’s death bed and thinks it a contradiction that he still insists on wearing black as a symbol of mourning and respect. Stephen ponders the worn cuffs of his jacket as raw grief for his mother mingles with guilt for having denied her final request to him. She continues to rebuke him from beyond the grave. The green colour of the sea reminds him of the bowls of bitter fluid coughed up from her putrid and decayed liver. Mulligan sympathetic to his plight offers to give him a shirt and some handkerchiefs. Finished his shave he flashes the mirror in the morning sun and then holds it towards Stephen who sees his uncombed hair. When Mulligan tells him he stole the mirror from his Aunt’s servant Stephen makes a clever retort about it representing the servile condition of the country-a symbol of Irish art. Mulligan is delighted with this intellectual fodder with which he will be able to impress Haines. Stephen was wounded by Mulligan’s mockery on the day his mother died and blushes as he expresses his feelings. His cold voice undercuts Mulligan’s bluster whose face reddens. Haines calls from downstairs and Mulligan quotes a few lines of poetry about isolation and bitterness as he goes off to cook the breakfast. Stephen quietly forlorn gazes out to sea and as the clouds come over he remembers the song he sang for his dying mother and is haunted by her power to still lay claim to his soul. His heart goes cold as he sees the accusing eyes from her deathbed when he alone did not join in prayer. Mulligan’s friendly voice calls him down to eat his fried breakfast. Stephen collecting the shaving bowl is reminded of carrying the sacred vessels when serving mass. It is payday for Stephen and that means there will be money for drink and Mulligan sings in merry anticipation. Shafts of sunlight mingle with the smoking fire and Mulligan choking from the fumes calls on Haines to open the door. They ask Stephen for the key who tells them it is in the lock and as Haines pushes out the old iron door the summer morning lights up the room. Mulligan hacks the eggs from the frying pan onto plates.

Stephen brings the bread, butter and honey from the dresser. The tea is poured and when there is no milk he suggests they drink it with lemon. Mulligan will have none of these fashionable Parisian ways picked up by Stephen on his recent visit and wails for his local milk. Haines spots the old milk woman in the distance. Haines comments on the strong tea reminds Mulligan of a joke about Mother Grogan and he suggests clever ways it could be included in his thesis on Irish folk traditions. When Stephen suggests Mother Grogan might have stronger English associations Mulligan is delighted and they return to their usual clever bantering. The woman arriving with the milk defers to Mulligan who instructs Stephen to get the jug. She measures and pours the milk and Stephen imagines her at daybreak squeezing the cow’s full dug unlike her own shriveled breasts. Stephen is scornful of her respectful attitude towards Mulligan because he is studying medicine. Haines speaks to her in Irish but she thinks he is speaking French and he asks her for the bill. Mulligan searches his trousers for a coin. He reminds Stephen to give him some money from his pay packet and mentions again their plans to meet for a drink. Haines has plans to go to the National Library. Mulligan who wants to go for a swim chides Stephen about his infrequent washing and undaunted Stephen jokes about the Gulf Stream washing all of Ireland. Haines thinks this must be another Irish proverb and tells Stephen he liked the one about the broken mirror and Irish art. Mulligan wants Stephen to impress Haines with his theory about Hamlet and is affronted when Stephen asks Haines if it will make him money. He chastises him for not humoring his Oxford guest. Stephen picks up his ashplant and takes the key and locks the iron door as they all leave the Tower to accompany Mulligan for his swim. They postpone discussion about Hamlet and Thomas Aquinas until their planned meeting at the Ship Tavern for a pint at lunchtime. Stephen feels his clothes shabby and frayed compared to the smart outfits of his companions. Haines says the cliffs and the Tower remind him of Elsinore and when he begins to expound on a religious theory about Hamlet Mulligan interrupts with a blasphemous song. Haines is wary to laugh in case he offends Stephen and talks platitudes to him about Creation and God.

Haines has all the props including a bejeweled silver cigarette case and a lighter that springs open and he and Stephen walk along smoking.
Stephen maps a line in the dirt with his ashplant knowing that later that night only Mulligan and Haines will return to cross over it. Mulligan will ask for the key and Stephen knows he will hand it over, in spite of his own legitimate rights, as he was the one who paid the rent. Haines responds to Stephen’s statement about free thought by suggesting he is his own master. Stephen corrects him describing himself not as free but as the servant of two masters, the British Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. The intensity of feeling causes him to blush. Haines with impeccable detachment talks about history being to blame for such an unfair situation. Stephen’s memory is ingrained with the powerful symbols and music of the holy and apostolic church. He struggles to find a way to express his ideas on free thought without becoming trapped in a heretic response and sharing the hopeless fate of Arius and Sabellius. He rejects the mental turmoil of solving the mysteries of the church or being one of the mockers like Mulligan.

Haines is loyal to Britain and does not want it overrun with Jews from Germany. A boatman is waiting for the tide to come in with the body of a man who drowned nine days earlier. Mulligan calls to a youth already in the water. The swimmer tells him his brother is still in Westmeath where he is courting a young girl working in the photography shop. A red faced older man climbs out of the water and Mulligan blesses himself to indicate to the others that he is a priest. Mulligan listens to the gossip about Seymour who has ditched medicine met a rich man’s daughter and is off to join the British army. Mulligan jokes about having a rib missing as he removes his shirt saying he is the Uebermensch. Haines says it is too soon after breakfast for him to swim and he sits on a rock with a cigarette. Stephen takes his leave and Mulligan asks him for the key of the Tower and the price of a pint before he dives into the water. Stephen tosses the key and coins on his shirt. He politely acknowledges Haines. He is wary of the Englishman. Mulligan calls out to remind him about their lunchtime meeting at the Ship Tavern.

On the pathway Stephen hears the murmur of Latin as a priest dresses in a recess in the rocks. He realizes he will not return to the Tower and neither, with his mother gone, will he return home to live. A seal calls to him from far out to sea. He has been usurped.

Ulysses comprises 18 EPISODES June 16th 1904 Dublin