Billy Budd Questions and Answers

Billy Budd

Billy Budd is press-ganged aboard the HMS Bellipotent. This was a common method of getting men to serve as sailors during the eighteenth century, when the story is set. Life onboard a ship was...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019 5:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

"Struck dead by an angel of God! Yet the angel must hang!" This is Captain Vere’s first reaction when he discovers that Claggart is dead. The Captain has decided Billy’s fate immediately. Though...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2020 6:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

Billy Budd

This question could be answered in a number of ways. One approach you might want to consider is looking at how each main character struggles with conforming to a sense of outward expectations...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

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Billy Budd

Although it is common (and correct) to say that few literary works have a single “meaning,” this claim is especially appropriate when the subject is Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd. In fact,...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2011 9:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Billy Budd is rife with various conflicts. What is a bit amazing is that, despite the fact that the book takes place on a warship during the Napoleonic Wars just after the Nore Mutiny, neither of...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2019 3:39 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Billy Budd

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16, King James Version) The Biblical allusion to Mathew 10:16...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2013 9:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

For Captain Vere, order is everything. If the Indomitable is to achieve a successful voyage, good order among the crew must always prevail. And as Vere is captain of the ship, that onerous...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2018 11:30 am UTC

2 educator answers

Billy Budd

John Claggart, the villain in Herman Melville’s short novel Billy Budd, can in some ways be seen as an example of the kind of corrupted individualism sometimes associated with so-called “dark...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2012 3:11 am UTC

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Billy Budd

I also selected "Billy Budd" for my term paper in college, two years in a row, in fact, for two literature classes taught by the same professor. I wrote about the much debated question of whether...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2011 7:25 am UTC

4 educator answers

Billy Budd

Set among the British navy in the late 18th century, Herman Melville's Billy Budd is very political in nature. During this time period, between 1794 and 1797, the British navy was expanding in size...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2015 7:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

John Claggart is the one who accused Billy of mutiny and sets in motion the events that lead to his execution. Why he does this is complex, but the narrator often mentions both Claggart's essential...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2007 7:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

What interests Melville in this tale is not so much the battle between good and evil but the presentation of innocence in the face of experience. In this sense, Billy is not presented as a...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2013 6:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Chapter 4 of Billy Budd is a digression from the main narrative of the novel, something the narrator acknowledges at the start of the chapter. The narrator mentions that it is acceptable to hold...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2018 10:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Billy Budd

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...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2013 7:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

In Chapter 29 of his novel Billy Budd, Herman Melville includes a newspaper account of the events described in the novel. His reasons for doing so can be variously explain. Such explanations...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2011 11:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Billy Budd may be easier to understand when taking a look at what was happening in Europe at the time this story takes place. The year is 1797. The French are in the throes of the French...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2010 6:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Billy Budd happens to be my favorite Herman Melville story. As your question already suggests, what the characters look like on the outside link to how they are (or not are) on the inside. Let's...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2020 1:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Captain Vere, in Herman Melville’s short novel titled Billy Budd, is one of the most complex characters in all of American literature. He is the focus of a great and enduring critical debate, with...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2012 4:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

British maritime law is critical to the story of Billy Budd and how it resolves—not just in terms of how Billy Budd ultimately dies under the jurisdiction of naval law, but also in terms of the...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2019 9:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Billy is definitely seen by many critics as a Christ-like figure. Melville establishes the foundations for such an interpretation with Billy's innocence, but also with the specific images used to...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Yes and no. Melville's concern in this novel is actually much greater than merely presenting the reader with a theme that points out the futility of war or how negative it is, although this is...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2013 6:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

In the novella Billy Budd, Melville explores the tension created by one's duty to follow the law and one's compassion for an individual who has broken the law. The character that most represents...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2011 4:07 am UTC

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Billy Budd

Depending on context, a Danish woman, or a Danish person in general.

Latest answer posted October 20, 2008 2:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Essay topics should take the following issue into account: the key question about Billy Budd has always been whether Billy's execution was necessary, as Capt. Vere believes, to maintain order and...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2019 5:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

On balance, I think readers are meant to sympathize with Vere, who understands Billy's childlike virtue yet is required to prosecute after Billy kills Claggart. Vere is someone who must choose his...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2020 1:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

The point of view is first person limited omniscient - it is told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator.

Latest answer posted October 31, 2007 1:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

The martial court is charged with determining the legal question of whether or not Billy killed Claggart. They face the moral question of whether to execute a good man who was provoked into a...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2009 1:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

The character in Herman Melville’s short novel Billy Budd who most obviously seems to feel a tension between outward conformity and inward questioning is Captain Vere. Vere senses that Billy is a...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2011 7:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

There are various arguments one might make if one were trying to persuade a friend to read Herman Melville’s novel Billy Budd. Among such arguments are the following: The novel is Melville’s last...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2011 11:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Although this novella's underlying theme is predominantly religious, it can also be said that Herman Melville is making a poignant case in favor of the individual's rights. The relationship between...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2007 10:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Dudley Pope, a historian and fiction writer whose books center on nautical subjects, opined that the mutiny on the HMS Hermione did not exclusively stem from Captain Pigot's brutal treatment of his...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2019 10:19 pm UTC

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Billy Budd

Impressment is a critical theme of Billy Budd, as well as the brutal pragmatism that lies behind British maritime law. It's worth noting that Billy himself is not a volunteer; he's impressed into...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2019 8:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Billy Budd

Although it might be possible to claim that Herman Melville suggests, both in Moby-Dick and in Billy Budd, suggests that beauty and innocence must be destroyed so that order can be maintained, this...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2011 12:48 am UTC

1 educator answer