The protagonist is Leopold Bloom, a common man, a parody of Ulysses.
He lives his home to buy his breakfast at 8 o'clock, and he returns at 2 o'clock. In the hours in between he goes around the city and he returns finally at his Itaca where is wife Molly ( an unfaithful Penelope) starts her flux of toughts in a long mologue that closes the novel.
During his "journey" he meets Stephen Dedalus (Telemacus), the protagonist of The Portrait. In this way the alienated common man rescues the alienated artist that help Bloom to win the paralysis and to return at home.
The artist aim is to raise the common man from ephemeral life from to permanence and the man exist as artist's material.
Joyce's novel are a new form of prose based on the "mytical metod" resulted from the progress made by psychology, anthropology and ethnology.
Ulysses is the climax of Joyce creativity and sums up all the techniques use in the other works. He set the story on an ordinary day of Dublin life, and he planned all the moviment of the character like they were playing chess. He made the very air of Dublin, so Dublin became itself a character in this novel.
Dedalus, Bloom and Molly rappresent two aspects of human nature. Dedalus is pure intellect, Molly rappresent the flesh, Bloom is the union of the extremes and he is the common man.
The theme of the novel is: human life means suffering, but also fighting to reach goodness.
Joyce uses the stream of consciousness technique; question and answers; drammatic dialogue; juxtaposition of event; cinematic technique... all this metods were called collage technique.
The language is reach of contrasts, paradoxes, interruptions and symbols.