Joyce, Shakespeare, and Paternity in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
The Ohio State University
“Ah, there’s only one man he’s got to get the better of now, and that’s that Shakespeare!” -Nora Joyce. In a rather astute comment made to Frank Budgen, Nora Joyce remarks on her husband’s need to outdo the writers of the Western literary canon. She implies a desire on Joyce’s part to defeat every writer in the English language, a colossal attempt at becoming the greatest writer in history. It is my objective in this piece to use the text of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake in correlation with Harold Bloom’s theory of the “anxiety of influence” to emphasize Joyce’s desire to surpass William Shakespeare, the last barrier he sees in his quest to conquer the Western canon.
Shakespeare, James Joyce, Paternity, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, Anxiety of Influence