Agenbite of Inwit — (In honor of Bloomsday)

Agenbite (ayenbite) is defined as remorse and this does seem to be the way Joyce used it in Ulysses, but after looking through the Middle English Dictionary I find that “ayen” is an earlier spelling of “again” while “bite” can, along with a rather large number of other meanings, be defined as “the blow of a sharp weapon.”  As a result I think “remorse” might be a rather pallid definition for a concept that suggest being beaten again and again; to be beaten over and over. 
And while “inwit” does have the meaning of “an inward awareness of right or wrong, conscience,” this is the last definition listed.  It was more commonly used  as meaning “mind, reason, intellect, comprehension, understanding; and as “soul, spirit, feeling, or disposition.”
But am I saying the same thing if I define the phrase as “remorse of conscience” as I would be if I define it as having a soul or spirit beaten down again and again?
Five or six years is less than a blink of an eye in the overall scheme of things, but when you are wandering around, lost in a dark wood in the middle of your life it certainly seems like a long time. 

           But what happens when you get to the end of the dark wood?  Do you end up facing the sign that tells you to abandon all hope?  Do you put your trust in Virgil and stumble along hoping that somewhere, sometime Beatrice will appear and take you to the promised land?  Do you find yourself in the land of Odtaa where you continue on because . . . ?
           Or do you simply say, “All is well!”

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