"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" of James Joyce: MISCELLANEOUS objective questions Note 7

Record Stephen’s prayer to his old father, the cunning artifice: The entry on April 27.

Entry  refers to Stephen’s meeting with Emma: The entry on April 15.

 Stephen’s motto: ‘Non – serviam’, the motto of Satan.
            ‘I will not serve’.

The significance of the name Stephen Dedalus: The name Stephen Dedalus conjoins the first Christian martyr St. Stephen, stoned to death outside Jerusalem in 34 A.D. and the great pagan artificer – artist hero, Dedalus. Like St. Stephen, the hero of the novel is or atleast sees himself as, a martyr, a person whose potential spiritual dedication is thwarted by Ireland. His surname, however reminds us of the cunning artificer Daedalus who built for himself wings of wax and escaped from the labyrinth of crete. Stephen will also emancipate himself from the prison which Ireland has become to him. And he will do this not literally by going abroad but also spiritually soaring on the wings of art into the air (which is the medium of intellect and inspiration). While the reference of St. Stephen relates the martyr like condition of Stephen, that of the fabulous craftsman expresses his desire to release himself from the choking atmosphere of Ireland.

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’.

A biography: Portrait is autobiographical fiction that, in many ways, closely parallels the early life of its author. We can find such lifelike character and episodes in the novel. Such as: Simon Dedalus (based on Joyce’s father, John Joyce), Mrs. Dedalus (Mary Joyce) Dante (Mrs. Hearn Conway), or Stephen’s years at Clongowes, Belvedere College, or University College, Dublin. Joyce made some changes and he might have done these for fictional portrayal of his personae of artist.
 Stephen’s mother wish : Stephen’s mother wishes him to perform his Easter duty. Stephen refuses by saying ‘I will not serve’ imitating Satan’s infamous ‘non serviam’.
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. 
Ardhendu De

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