Page 126. " Non serviam: I will not serve. That instant was his ruin. "

Theologians view the sin that led to Lucifer's fall to be that of pride. He wanted to be above God and not obey Him. It is arguable that Stephen's internal exile comes from a similar lack of willingness to 'serve' outside forces: either Catholicism or Irish Nationalism.

Page 129. " The brimstone, too, which burns there in such prodigious quantity fills all hell with its intolerable stench; "
Burning sulfur
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBurning sulfur - Credit: Johannes Hemmerlein

Brimstone is an alternative name for sulphur, a chemical element associated with volcanoes. This has given rise to the term 'fire-and-brimstone' sermons, in which listeners are reminded of the hell that awaits them if they do not repent their sins.

Pure sulphur does not smell. The 'rotten egg' stench comes from hydrogen sulphide, which is generated  by bacterial decay in anaerobic conditions such as swamps.

When burned, sulphur produces a red liquid and a blue flame.


Page 132. " a cock, a monkey and a serpent. "

This is a reference to the poena cullei, the  Roman penalty for parricide: the culprit was drowned in a sack with these animals.

Page 132. " Saint Catherine of Siena once saw a devil "

St Catherine of Siena was a fourteenth century Catholic philosopher and theologian. She experienced visions, and considered herself to have entered into a mystical marriage with Jesus, who advised her to give up her withdrawn life in a convent. She spent most of her life helping the poor and the sick, and became a member of Pope Gregory XI's administration in Rome.

Page 134. " Depart from me, ye cursed, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. "

This is a Bible quote taken from Matthew 25:41, explaining the Final Judgement of God.

Last Judgement - Voronet Monastery, Romania
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumLast Judgement - Voronet Monastery, Romania - Credit: Casandra Ioan
Page 138. " poena damni, the pain of loss "

Traditionally, Christianity has taught that sinners in Hell suffer two eternal punishments:

poena damni: the punishment of the loss of the vision of God in Heaven

poena sensus: sensory pain

Page 139. " as saint Augustine points out "

St Augustine of Hippo is one of the central figures in the development of Western Christianity, and as such is regarded as a church father.

Born in what is now Algeria in the fourth century, he helped to integrate the classical philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome into Christian thinking.

He is remembered to this day for his many insightful quotes, the strongest of which remains: Love, and do what you like.




Page 141. " blood of the innocent Lamb of God, shed for the redemption of sinners "

The Lamb of God is another name for Jesus Christ.


Page 148. " Goatish figures with human faces, hornybrowed, lightly bearded and grey as india-rubber. "

The symbol of the goat-like creature in Joyce's works has a whole spectrum of meanings and associations, from the natural symbol of lust to a definition of the vile, disgusting, condemned and inhuman. Joyce's frame of reference is the background of the image in satiric literature from Classical on into Renaissance and Elizabethan times. The image dates from the mythic satyr – half goat, half man, prototype of sensuality and coarseness.