Billy Budd Chapter 22 Summary and Analysis

Herman Melville

Chapter 22 Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
The First Lieutenant, the Captain of the Marines, and the Sailing Master: these are the officers who are chosen by Captain Vere to compose the drumhead court

Summary
There is a blurred line between sanity and insanity. Melville tells us that it is up to the reader to determine whether or not the surgeon is correct in his evaluation of Captain Vere’s mental state.

The fatal event has occurred at the worst possible time. The fact that it is so “close on the heel” of the suppressed mutinies requires extraordinary leadership ability from a commanding officer, and as well, the skills of prudence and vigor, which Melville notes are “qualities not readily...

(The entire section is 1042 words.)