Is Billy Bud Innocent

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In Herman Melville’s, Billy Budd, Sailor, the protagonist is an innocent, naïve sailor with spiritual resemblances to Jesus Christ. Randa Dubnik says, “There are several references to Christianity and to Billy as a Christ-like figure…” (78) Throughout the story, Billy Bud faces many of the same trials throughout his life that Jesus once faced and consequently dies in a similar manner. Billy is known to be innocent and naïve, partially due to his speech impediment restricting his actions and words. Throughout the story, Billy Budd has to deal with many complicated situations such as answering questions about his birth he knows nothing of, being wrongly accused of leading a mutiny, and dying in the end due to those false actions. Although there …show more content…

“A final analogy that strengthens the link between Claggart and Satan and thus between Billy and Jesus is the climatic blow to the head that brings about Claggarts’ death. … In Genesis 3:15 after the Fall of man, God pronounces judgment on the serpent…” (Loges 138). This quote again proves Billy to be a religious figure in that God had cast judgment on the serpent just as Billy brought punishment to Claggart. Billy is hung while the rest of the crew watches in silence, with his last words being, “God bless Captain Vere,” forgiving him for sentencing him to death. This occurrence relates to Jesus Christ’ death shown through the Bible verse, “Forgive them for they know not what they do,” where Jesus forgives men before his death just as Billy Budd did (Luke 23:34). Billy’s death is very peaceful and calm as explained by Leona Toker, “His hanging is described in a language that associates him with Christ; and there is a suggestion of the supernatural in the absence of the involuntary muscle spasm that usually follows hangings.” (2) This calm death relates to Jesus’ death in that both were peaceful and somewhat accepted as a necessity. The last religious reference that links Billy Budd to Christ is through the fact that Jesus was resurrected after his death, to live on forever, as is Billy through the writings and songs of men who remember him. Both of these instances give opportunity to allow both Billy and Jesus to live on forever. Billy Budd is seen as a Christ-like figure with many religious references throughout the story, specifically linking Billy’s’ death to

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