Billy Budd Chapters 15-18 Questions and Answers

Herman Melville

Chapters 15-18 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is Billy’s reaction to being summoned out of his sleep to a secret meeting?

2. What is Billy’s response to the afterguardsman’s offer?

3. What explanation does Billy give to Red Pepper?

4. Why is Billy disturbed by the incident?

5. What is Dansker’s explanation for the strange happenings?

6. How does Billy react to Dansker’s interpretation?

7. Why doesn’t Dansker give Billy more specific advice?

8. Why doesn’t Billy report the afterguardsman to the proper authorities?

9. How does Claggart react to Billy during this period?

10. How does Claggart disguise his “monomania,” that is, his obsession with Billy?

Answers
1. Billy does as he is told and goes to meet the stranger.

2. He is resentful and angry, and he threatens to throw the afterguardsman over the rail.

3. He tells Red Pepper that he was angry because the afterguardsman was in the wrong part of the ship.

4. He is bewildered and upset because the intrigue was “disturbingly alien to him.”

5. Dansker’s explanation is that “Jimmy-Legs” is down on Billy Budd.

6. Billy refuses to believe that the master-at-arms could be plotting against him.

7. Dansker has learned from “long experience” that it is unwise to interfere or give advice to others.

8. Billy is trying to avoid doing the “dirty work of a tell-tale.”

9. Claggart is obsessed with Billy, alternating between extreme feelings of hatred and yearning.

10. He covers up with his “self-contained and rational demeanor.”