In James Joyce's Ulysses, Buck Mulligan is the complex alter ego of Stephen Dedalus and a constant usurper. He, like Stephen, is a nonbeliever. However, Mulligan is much more public (read cynical and blasphemous) about his disbelief. An example of Mulligan's verbose blasphemy is The Ballad of Joking Jesus, recited by Mulligan as he strolls and dances towards the water. Always borrowing money from Stephen and paying his share of the rent late (if at all), Mulligan berefts Stephen of his home.

The character of Buck Mulligan was based on Joyce's acquaintance Oliver St. John Gogarty. Gogarty was a medical student, swimmer, poet and wit. Joyce lodged with Gogarty in a Martello Tower for a time, which episode forms the basis for the opening chapter of Ulysses. Visitors to Dublin may visit a tourist-oriented pub named after Gogarty in the Temple Bar area.

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