Two philosophers Stephen refers to while thinking of the essence of beauty: Stephen thinks of Aristotle and Aquinas while trying to formulate a principle of beauty.
On the theme of beauty Aquinas had declared Pulera Scent Quac Visa Placent. It means ‘that is beautiful the apprehension of which pleases’.
The spiritual heroic refrigerating apparatus of Dante A Alighieri: Stephen makes such comment about Dante because he objects to the denial of the body in live as in the Platonic love celebrated in Dante’s love for Beatrice in La Vita Nuova.
A bildungsroman or as aesthetic autobiography: A Portrait can be seen as a bildungsroman and as ‘aesthetic autobiography’. In the matter of stationing himself, Joyce keeps varying his distance from Stephen but never does so drastically. What happens in A Portrait is that the autobiographical element which is otherwise its very significant ingredient is consciously and painstakingly recast into a mode of depersonalization, objectification and mystification.