Benito Cereno Questions and Answers
by Herman Melville

Start Your Free Trial

Please provide a list of details that show suspicious activity in Benito Cereno. Try to draw the details from various parts of the stories.

Expert Answers info

JJ Botta, J.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Seton Hall University

bookM.A. from California State University

bookJ.D. from New York Law School

calendarEducator since 2020

write235 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Herman Melville’s novella Benito Cereno takes place on the high seas off the coast of Chile in the year 1799. As the story unfolds, with his ship docked in the harbor of a small island, Captain Amasa Delano, the skipper of the Bachelor's Delight, becomes suspicious of another ship approaching with a “strange sail” in an area where ships are "not so plenty.”

As Captain Delano continues observing the strange ship, Melville creates a watchful atmosphere foretelling things to come:

The morning was one peculiar to that coast. Everything was mute and calm; everything gray. The sea, though undulated into long roods of swells, seemed fixed, and was sleeked at the surface like waved lead that has cooled and set in the smelter's mould. The sky seemed a gray surtout. Flights of troubled gray fowl, kith and kin with flights of troubled gray vapors among which they were mixed, skimmed low and fitfully over the waters, as swallows over meadows before storms. Shadows present, foreshadowing deeper...

(The entire section contains 549 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial