Billy Budd Chapter 19 Questions and Answers

Herman Melville

Chapter 19 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why was the Indomitable detached from the rest of the squadron?

2. How does Claggart approach Captain Vere?

3. What is Captain Vere’s opinion of John Claggart?

4. What does Claggart tell Captain Vere about Billy Budd?

5. Why doesn’t Captain Vere trust Claggart?

6. What does Captain Vere do in response to Claggart’s accusation?

7. What character trait does Claggart impute to Billy Budd?

8. Why does Captain Vere proceed with caution?

9. How is Claggart’s evil intent toward Billy revealed?

10. What is Vere’s opinion of Billy Budd?

Answers
1. Due to a shortage of frigates in the British fleet, the Indomitable was detached from the squadron and sent on a special mission.

2. Claggart approaches Captain Vere with deference, cap in hand.

3. Although he doesn’t know him well, he takes an inexplicable dislike to Claggart.

4. Claggart tells Captain Vere that Billy Budd is a dangerous man who is plotting something clandestine.

5. Claggart reminds Vere of a perjurer he once knew while participating in a court martial.

6. Captain Vere summons Billy in order to observe his reaction when Claggart accuses him to his face.

7. Claggart imputes to Billy the trait of duplicity.

8. Vere doesn’t want to act hastily upon what he believes is false information.

9. By his contrived accusation, Claggart’s plot against Billy is revealed.

10. Vere has a very high opinion of Billy.