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Critical Discourse On The Cyclops Essay

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Critical discourse on the “Cyclops” episode of Ulysses has remained remarkably consistent over its history. Much of the analysis focuses the episode’s dual expression through narration and what David Hayman calls the narrative “asides,” with other attention paid towards the episode’s narrative structure and characterization. In this paper, I will explore the episode’s history of critical discourse, beginning first by looking at the process of its creation as explicated by Michael Groden in his essay “‘Cyclops’ in Progress, 1919.” I will then compare the analyses of David Hayman and Hugh Kenner of 1974 and 1980 respectively, the latter of which having been informed in no small part by the former, before briefly looking at a modern analysis of the episode as opera by Timothy Martin in 2000. Groden writes that “Cyclops” is the first episode that entirely departs from the original narrative style of Ulysses. In the first ten episodes, up to and including “Wandering Rocks”, the novel is written in the style of “the combination of third person, past tense objective description and first person, present tense interior monologue” (Groden 123). In the eleventh episode “Sirens”, Joyce begins to deconstruct this ordinary technique–call it the “monologue method”–with the introduction of music into his prose, “by imposing the fugal forms and musical patterns onto it” (123). “Cyclops” is narrated by a first-person unnamed narrator who David Hayman describes as an “insistent and
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