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Sailing to Ithaca: Remaking Yeats in Ulysses

Joyce's Ulysses quotes the poems of Yeats extensively, in a process of allusion carried over from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, contrasting them with Swinburne and providing Stephen Dedalus with a model for the development of the artist. Yeatsian mythology complements the Homeric structure of the novel, reinforcing the importance of myth to modernity. Yeats within Ulysses is subject to bathos, suggesting the limitations of heroic conceptions, but survives bathos to affirm the relevance of poetic seriousness to ordinary life.