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Essays on Billy Budd

Billy Budd

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Essay Examples

Billy Budd as a Christ Figure

Billy Budd


Words: 377 (2 pages)

Melville uses many biblical allusions throughout the novella to relate Billy Budd to Jesus. Billy is symbolic of a Christ-like figure because of his destruction by evil and betrayal, fate and. Similar to Jesus, Billy was a fatalist who believed that life was planned out and all events were destined to occur. Lieutenant Ratcliffe was…

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy and Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville

Billy Budd


Words: 1396 (6 pages)

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy and Billy Budd by Herman Melville present two tragic characters who differ a lot from each other with a few common characteristics. The death of Ivan is a natural one whereas Billy receives capital punishment. The former fails to get any admiration even from his own people…

The Act of Vengeance


Billy Budd

Words: 1911 (8 pages)

This simple quote by Edward Counsel sums up the true meaning behind the act of revenge “revenge is but a small circle”. This also seems to be related to the popular saying “what goes around comes around”. Revenge is defined as the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong…

Frequently Asked Questions about Billy Budd

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How does Billy Budd represent innocence?
In the story the power of innocence is incessantly attacked by the power of evil until the innocence staggers. The character Billy Budd is represented here as a person whose innocence cannot be converted into disgust even in living with ill mannered people.
What is the major problem in Billy Budd?
major conflict On one level, the conflict of the book is between the natural innocence and goodness of Billy and the subtlety and deceptiveness of evil, represented by Claggart.
What is the message of Billy Budd?
One suggested theme of Billy Budd is the corruption of innocence by society. Melville seems to prefer the primitive state over civilized society. If this posthumous work is indeed the author's last will and testament, the theme may indicate his personal resignation and acceptance of the imperfection of life.

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