Billy Budd Chapters 30-31 Questions and Answers

Herman Melville

Chapters 30-31 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where did the written account of the execution appear?

2. What reason does that account give for suggesting that Billy was not an Englishman?

3. How is Billy described in that account?

4. How is Claggart described?

5. What object becomes a relic for the seamen?

6. What image of Billy Budd remains in the hearts and minds of the sailors?

7. Who is the author of the ballad written about Billy’s death?

8. From whose point of view is the story told in the ballad?

9. What is the title of the ballad?

10. How do the official account and the sailors’ memories differ?

Answers
1. An account of Billy’s execution appears in an authorized naval publication.

2. In that account it is suggested that Billy was not an Englishman because of the vileness of the murder and the reported murder weapon, a knife.

3. Billy is described as a criminal of extreme depravity.

4. Claggart is described as a respectable and discreet man, who was brave and patriotic.

5. The spar from which Billy was hanged, as well as any chip from that spar, become relics.

6. They remember “the fresh young image of the Handsome Sailor.”

7. One of the other foretopmen from Billy’s watch writes the lines for the ballad.

8. The story the ballad tells uses Billy’s point of view.

9. The ballad is titled, “Billy in the Darbies.”

10. The official account finds Billy guilty, whereas the sailors remember Billy as the innocent party.