Claggart makes his case and Billy, astounded, is unable to respond, due to his stutter. Guert Gansevoorta defendant in a later investigation, was a first cousin of Melville. Puzzled by this persecution, Billy seeks out the advice of the Dansker, an aged, experienced sailor.
Later he was rescued, only to become involved in a mutiny before finally returning home to the United States on a naval vessel in They keep track of the spar upon which Billy was hanged.
Vere summons Billy to his cabin and instructs Claggart to repeat his accusation. The common sailors remember Billy's nobility. He believed he stayed closer to what Melville wrote, but still relied on Weaver's text, with what are now considered mistaken assumptions and textual errors.
She points out that Claggart's "natural depravity," which is defined tautologically as "depravity according to nature," and the accumulation of equivocal terms "phenomenal", "mystery", etc. The reason for the flogging is unknown, and could be, as the elder Dansker, a fellow crew member, states, solely because it was his time.
The captain of the ship, "Starry" Vere, is a quiet, just, and well-read officer. The centrality of Billy Budd's extraordinary good looks in the novella, where he is described by Captain Vere as "the young fellow who seems so popular with the men—Billy, the Handsome Sailor",  have led to interpretations of a homoerotic sensibility in the novel.
The mean-spirited Claggert unfairly plots to put him on report and ultimately perjures himself when he accuses Billy of conspiring to mutiny.
His early works were quite successful, but his later writings were neither commercial successes nor critically appreciated. When they seem to be deadlocked, unable to make a decision, Vere steps forward to declare his conviction that the rule of law must supersede the reservations of conscience.
The state of this manuscript has been described as "chaotic," with a bewildering array of corrections, cancellations, cut and pasted leaves, annotations inscribed by several hands, and with at least two different attempts made at a fair copy.
The second view, a reaction against the first, holds that Billy Budd is ironic, and that its real import is precisely the opposite of its ostensible meaning. Giorgio Ghedini also composed an operatic version of the novella, which premiered in She tried to follow through on what she perceived as her husband's objectives but her editing was confusing to the first professional editors, Weaver and Freeman, who mistook her writing for Melville's.
Many of the early readers, such as Murry and Freeman, thought this passage was a foundational statement of Melville's philosophical views on life.
He believes this would be jeopardized by taking a lenient attitude to Billy. Claggart, while not unattractive, seems somehow "defective or abnormal in the constitution", possessing a "natural depravity.
After a cheery good-bye to his old mates, Billy settles in quickly among the company of the Bellipotent. On the surface it seems that Billy does not receive justice, since there are mitigating circumstances to his act.
The blow proves forceful enough to knock Claggart unconscious, and he lies bleeding from the nose and ears as Billy and Vere attempt to revive him. To vent his feelings, Billy strikes Claggart so forcibly that he kills him.
The novella has pages, so it can be finished within four to five hours. Plot[ edit ] Billy Budd is a seaman impressed into service aboard HMS Bellipotent in the yearwhen the Royal Navy was reeling from two major mutinies and was threatened by the Revolutionary French Republic 's military ambitions.
Billy Budd is convicted by a drumhead court and sentenced to death.
Be the first to contribute. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried. Examining the history and reputation of Billy Budd has left me more convinced than before that it deserves high stature although not precisely the high stature it holds, whatever that stature is and more convinced that it is a wonderfully teachable story—as long as it is not taught as a finished, complete, coherent, and totally interpretable work of art.
Captain Vere communicates to Billy the news of his fate and, after a discussion with him that we do not learn about directly, he withdraws to leave the prisoner by himself. Forster and Eric Crozier. Unsure of how to explain the situation, Billy explains that he simply happened upon a fellow sailor who was in the wrong part of the ship, and chased the man back to his proper station with a gruff rebuke.
Reading time is approximately 20 pages an hour. Billy Budd Summary Buy Study Guide It is the end of the eighteenth century, and Billy Budd is a young sailor on a merchant ship called the Rights-of-Man.
Billy is a beautiful young man, a specimen of what Melville calls the Handsome Sailor. A short summary of Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor.
This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Billy Budd, Sailor. Billy might as well be like the biblical Adam before the Fall; he has an "untampered-with flavor like that of berries" to him ().
The man's just natural as can be, honest and poor and strong of heart. Billy does have one flaw, though, which is that when he feels strongly about something he develops a stutter, "an organic hesitancy" ().
Billy Budd: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature. Billy Budd Summary Buy Study Guide It is the end of the eighteenth century, and Billy Budd is a young sailor on a merchant ship called the Rights-of-Man.
Billy is a beautiful young man, a specimen of what Melville calls the Handsome Sailor. The narrator of the story is not involved in the action, and we have no idea how he even got wind of Billy Budd's story in the first place.
Yet in many ways, he is a realistic third person narrator.An analysis and a summary of billy budd the movie