Billy Budd Questions and Answers
by Herman Melville

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In Billy Budd, how is the envy Claggart feels towards Billy emphasized in Chapter 13 and how does it relate to the text as a whole?

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The envy that Claggart feels towards Billy is emphasised in Chapter 13 through the focus on the way in which Claggart's envy of Billy's heroic character and handsome features is not just a simple envy as experessed in situations such as Saul's envy of the youthful and handsome David. The text in this chapter insists that Claggart's envy of Billy "struck deeper" than this, and that Claggart's envy of Billy is somehow characterised by Claggart's identification of Billy as a true innocent, a character who has never experienced the "reactionary bite of that serpent," as the following quote explores:

If askance he eyed the good looks, cheery health and frank enjoyment of young...

(The entire section contains 349 words.)

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