Essay PreviewMore ↓
Captain Vere was Correct in Billy Budd
Captain Vere makes the correct decision by executing Billy Budd. If
CaptainVere lets Billy live the rest of the crew might get the impression that
they will not be held accountable for their crimes. If the crew feels that they
can get away with what ever they want then there is a chance that they might
form a rebellion and have a mutiny. A mutiny would destroy the stability and
good name of the ship and the crew. Captain Vere does not want to see this
happen. There are three main reasons Captain Vere makes the right decision by
executing Billy Budd. These reasons are that if Billy lives then a mutiny might
occur, because the law states that a crime as severe as Billy's is punishable by
death, and Captain Vere feels sorry for Billy and does not want Billy to suffer
with guilt until a martial court could give a decision.
If Billy is not executed then corruption might occur on the ship and
cause a mutiny. Captain Vere knows that a mutiny might occur and does not want
it to happen. Captain Vere could possibly be using Billy's execution for his
crime of killing Claggart as an example for the rest of the crew. It shows the
crew what will happen to them if they try to start a mutiny. After Billy's
death CaptainVere obviously feels regret for executing Billy. Captain Vere's
last words are "Billy Budd, Billy Budd" (p. 76) show an example of this. Those
last words might symbolize that Captain Vere killed Billy for the wrong reasons.
If CaptainVere uses Billy's death for an example to the rest of the crew then it
might not necessarily be the wrong reason. CaptainVere has to decide between
one life and the lives of the entire crew. No matter what Captain Vere's
reasons are he does make the right decision.
Another reason CaptainVere might of executed Billy Budd is because
CaptainVere follows the law to the letter. The law states that mutiny is
punishable to by death. Some readers might not see this accidental murder as
mutiny, but killing a superior officer in the British navy is considered mutiny.
How to Cite this Page
"Herman Melville's Billy Budd - Captain Vere was Correct." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Tragedy of Justice in Billy Budd Charles Reich's assessment of the conflict in Billy Budd focuses on the distinction between the laws of society and the laws of nature. Human law says that men are "the sum total of their actions, and no more." Reich uses this as a basis for his assertion that Billy is innocent in what he is, not what he does. The point of the novel is therefore not to analyze the good and evil in Billy or Claggart, but to put the reader in the position of Captain Vere, who must interpret the laws of both man and nature.... [tags: Herman Melville Billy Budd Essays]
534 words (1.5 pages)
- Captian Vere's reactions to Billy Budd in Billy Budd When Captain Vere says “Struck dead by an angel of God. Yet the angel must hang!” his attitude towards Billy Budd changes from one of paternal concern and personal respect to one in which he has set aside his personal thoughts and feelings for the sake of his nation. Each sentence represents this dichotomy by indicating his sentiment towards Billy. In the first, Billy is “an angel of God” who has “struck” Claggart dead, in a righteous manner.... [tags: Vere Billy Budd Essays]
414 words (1.2 pages)
- "Billy Budd" by Herman Melville: Captain Vere In the novella "Billy Budd" by Herman Melville, Captain Vere is the “ tragic hero”. he is neither good nor evil, but rather a man whose concept of order, discipline, and legality forces him to obey the codes of an authority higher than himself even though he may be in personal disagreement. Captain Vere is sailor that is distinctive even in a time of renowned sailors. He has noble blood in him, but his advancement through the naval ranks to that of captain is due more to his outstanding service and personal merits than through any connections that he may have had.... [tags: essays research papers]
468 words (1.3 pages)
- Billy Budd as Allegorical Figure An allegory is a symbolic story. Herman Melville's Billy Budd is an example of an allegory. The author uses the protagonist Billy Budd to symbolize a superior being who has a perfect appearance and represents goodness. Melville shows the reader that a superior being can be an innocent victim of evil and eventually destroyed. In, Melville's Billy Budd, the main character is an allegorical figure who symbolizes all goodness in men.... [tags: Herman Melville Billy Budd Essays]
623 words (1.8 pages)
- In all of Herman Melville’s short stories the captain is a tyrannical madman, but in Billy Budd, Sailor he changed things up and the captain, Captain Vere had compassion and a sensitive side to him, yet at the same time he had a military disciplinarian side to him. This is what made him such a controversial character. Captain Vere is all the talk, many critics have discussed the issue in their essay’s including Charles A. Reich’s “The Tragedy of Justice in Billy Budd” as well as Robert K. Martin’s “Is Vere a Hero?” Both essays argue whether Vere was the hero or the Villain.... [tags: vere, hero, madman, tyranical ]
970 words (2.8 pages)
- Herman Melville's Billy Budd - Innocence is More Important that Wisdom In Billy Budd, the author, Herman Melville, presents a question that stems directly from the original sin of ouAdam and Eve: Is it better to be innocent and ignorant, but good and righteous, or is it better to be experienced and knowledgeable? Through this work, Billy Budd,Melville is telling us that we need to strike some kind of balance between these two ideas; we need to have morality and virtue; we need to be in the world, but not of the world.... [tags: Billy Budd Essays]
1354 words (3.9 pages)
- Herman Melville's Billy Budd as Allegory of Good versus Evil Herman Melville's Billy Budd relates an allegory of innocence versus evil by symbolizing Billy Budd, John Claggart, and Captain Vere as Jesus Christ, Lucifer, and God. The protagonist in the novel is Billy Budd. The experiences that Billy undergoes throughout the novel parallel what Jesus Christ endured in his life. Melville characterizes Billy Budd as an innocent man physically and mentally. The first feature sailors would notice about Billy were his schoolboy features, with blond hair and blue eyes. His suave looks caused some people to refer to him as "the handsome sailor"(16). Most often sailors were scurvy men, quite of... [tags: Billy Budd Essays]
1320 words (3.8 pages)
- Contrast Between Good and Evil in Billy Bud Since the beginning of time, there has always been a tenacious struggle between good and evil. In a particular famous book, The Bible, the continuous clash between good and evil remains evident throughout the work. In Herman Melville's novel, Billy Budd, symbolism, characterization, and irony are put to use to develop the dramatic contrast between good and evil. Symbolism is used to directly contrast good and evil.... [tags: Herman Melville Billy Budd Essays]
646 words (1.8 pages)
- Billy Budd by Herman Melville Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were perfect. They were innocent and ignorant, yet perfect, so they were allowed to abide in the presence of God. Once they partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, however, they immediately became unclean as well as mortal. In Billy Budd, the author, Herman Melville, presents a question that stems directly from this original sin of our first parents: Is it better to be innocent and ignorant, but good and righteous, or is it better to be experienced and knowledgeable.... [tags: Melville Analysis]
1302 words (3.7 pages)
- Biblical Allegories in Billy Budd Herman Melville's Billy Budd is a novel with many biblical allegories ranging from subtle references to quite obvious similarities between characters and Biblical figures. One of the most prevalent and accepted similarities is that of "Billy as Adam" (Berthoff, Certain 33) around the time of the Fall, "The ground common to most discussion of Billy Budd is the assumption that the story is allegorical ... a reenactment of the Fall" (Berthoff, Certain 32).... [tags: Billy Budd Essays]
598 words (1.7 pages)
In Captain Vere's decision he shows the crew that no infractions of the law will
be tolerated. In the story CaptainVere is described as "never tolerating an
infraction of discipline" (p. 16). This trait could be the reason for Billy's
Another reason Captain Vere might execute Billy Budd is that he does not
want Billy to suffer with his extreme guilty until a martial court can see his
case. Captain Vere probably had a personal attachment to Billy. This is
evident when Captain Vere says, "struck dead by an angel of God! Yet the angel
must hang!" (p. 51). This statement implies Captain Vere's true feelings for
Billy. If Captain Vere had let a martial court try the case then they would
most likely come to the same conclusion. Because of this fact Captain Vere did
not find it necessary to make Billy wait for a trial.
Captain Vere made the right decision by executing Billy for his crimes.
Although the decision was controversial it kept stability among the crew. The
crew's fate is more important than any individual sailor's fate. If Captain
Vere had made the opposite decision than there probably would be a very horrible
fate for the Bellipotent. Billy Budd could be considered a tragic hero. In his
short life Billy touched more lives than most people do in there entire lives.
Billy is somebody that most readers would agree is a tragic hero. Even though
Billy Budd is so great, Captain Vere made the right decision.