It possibly signifies three things. The first is Stephen’s quest for identity. The second is his quest for the ultimate. And the third is his artistic delight in arranging phrases.
The bore of contention between Mrs. Riordon (Dante) on the one hand and Mr. Casey and Mr. Dedalus on the other is primarily that between the priest having a say in politics and politics being separated from religion. Also while Dante is intolerant of Parnell and abuses him for becoming involved with married woman (Kitty O’shea), Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Casey continue to regard him as their hero.