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Throughout his life, Billy Budd had many defining moments that helped him become the man that he is today. He suffered the loss of a father and had a hard time coping with his mother. But, when he learned the meaning of forgiveness, his life changed for the better.
Throughout the story, Claggart's hatred for Billy is inexplicable. He is not driven by evil society or a malicious officer, but by a pure evil spirit. Despite Billy's innocence, Claggart deems him a mutinous, nefarious man.
Claggart's bitterness begins long before he arrives at the H.M.S. Indomitable. He associates with malicious officers and has no purveyor of his good humor. He is driven by selfish purposes. He also exhibits a passion that is akin to monomania. His hatred of Billy is akin to Iago's jealousy in Hamlet.
Claggart is a depraved man. He is not driven by the good versus evil theme that is the subject of the story, but by a selfish, jealous impulse. He associates with a malicious officer and has a deep-seated hatred of Billy.
Vere's place above individual rights
Among the naval elite, Captain Vere is a well-respected leader. He has the power to enforce Navy rules to squash a possible mutiny. He is also known for his ability to steer a ship through rough waters. His most prized possession, however, is his library of reading material. Having a library at sea is no small feat, particularly since he has to read it all himself. The most impressive aspect of this particular library is its eclectic collection of literature.
Vere's decision making capabilities are further hampered by a social pressure to put his personal feelings aside. As the captain of a small craft, he has to weigh the benefits of a good work ethic against the consequences of not doing his duty. The more mundane aspects of his job, such as reading and writing, are trumped by his need to be a good leader.
Vere's 'abnormal' quality
Despite being in charge of a naval expedition in the sandbox, Captain Vere is a book worm. He has a keen eye for the finer things in life. As a result, he is not alone in the captain's chair. In fact, the entire crew is as bookish as the captain himself. This, along with Captain Melville's penchant for reprimanding infractions, ensures that the crew is at least as well behaved as the rest of the crew.
Vere has many admirable attributes, most notably his wits and his wallet. Despite his lack of a formal education, he is able to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to defending the ship. One of his most memorable moments comes early in the novel, when he and his men successfully prevent the crew of the Theseus from staging a mutiny. He is also an intelligent and savvy leader, and is quick to point out that a lack of leadership is a major cause of failure in any organization. He is also the best suited officer to lead the expedition.
Billy's relationship with the Dansker
During a voyage aboard the United States warship, Melville served as foretopman. He was one of the more experienced crewmembers. He had previously served on the Agamemnon, Nelson's flagship. Melville's knowledge of the sea was essential to his realism in Billy Budd.
Herman Melville was interested in the place of man in the universe. In the novel Billy Budd, he explores the tragedy of man's inability to cope with his own creation. He was also interested in the relationship between man and the natural world. Melville uses a series of allusions and references to bring his story to life.
The opening lines of Billy Budd suggest drama. The trial that follows presents legal and martial particulars. The foretopman's account does not hold up to Dansker's scrutiny.
Billy's stutter as he tells the afterguard to get away from him
Throughout the novel, Billy Budd has numerous references to Greek mythology, Caspar Hauser, Alexander the Great, and Bucephalus. These references are meant to highlight Billy's character, which is a noble hero with a tragic flaw. The literary device of foreshadowing is also evident.
Billy Budd is a character whose tragic flaw is his stutter. Stuttering causes heartbreak and ridicule. He is a sailor, which makes him prone to being involved in violent activities. However, he also has unities of action.
Billy Budd's stutter is caused by an accident. He was injured at age three. The stutter is persistent. In order to explain the stuttering, it is revealed that Bill Denbrough, son of Zack Denbrough, was unconscious for seven hours.
Billy is among a larger crew of sailors on a ship. He is intelligent, but illiterate. He was received well by his crewmen, but he is also regarded with amusement by the battle-hardened crew. He is also a member of the Losers' Club, which is a social group of social outcasts.
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