He is impressed to this large warship from another, smaller, merchant ship, The Rights of Man named after the book by Thomas Paine. As his former ship moves off, Budd shouts, "Good-bye to you too, old Rights-of-Man. His only physical defect is a stutter which grows worse when under intense emotion.
There he becomes a popular hero among his new shipmates, universally well-liked and respected by all with the exception of the sinister master-at-arms, John Claggart.
Claggart wrongfully accuses Billy Budd of participating in a mutiny plot and demands that Billy answer to the charge. Billy is unable to defend himself verbally because of a stammer. In angry frustration Billy suddenly strikes out at Claggart, stabbing him to death.
Billy Budd is convicted by a drumhead court and sentenced to death. All hands on board are summoned to watch the sentence carried out. His forebears were well-to-do and socially prominent, but his immediate family suffered from financial instability. His once prosperous household fell upon hard times.
He tried several jobs to help out his family, including teaching school and clerking in a bank. Lawrence, bound for Liverpool. In he signed aboard the Achushnet, which was headed for the South Seas. The brutal conditions aboard that ship led Melville and a companion to desert in the Marquesas Islands, where, inhe became the well-treated captive of the cannibalistic Typees.
Later he was rescued, only to become involved in a mutiny before finally returning home to the United States on a naval vessel in Although he had never before considered a career as a writer, his friends urged him to publish memoirs of his adventures. His early works were quite successful, but his later writings were neither commercial successes nor critically appreciated.
Inhe wrote Moby-Dick, which most reviewers at the time criticized as incomprehensible. After his story Pierre was similarly attacked, he began writing for magazines, and tried farming to make ends meet. He had married Elizabeth Shaw of Massachusetts inand he had a family to support. He tried his hand unsuccessfully at lecturing before finally taking a job as a customs inspector, a position he held for 20 years.
Estimated Reading Time Billy Budd is a novella a short novel. Reading time is approximately 20 pages an hour.
The novella has pages, so it can be finished within four to five hours.Throughout the novel, Melville uses names to indicate ideas about the true nature of people and things. For example, Billy’s last name, Budd, suggests his innocence and youth by conjuring an image of a flower’s bud.
Captain Vere’s name suggests his tendency to veer between attitudes. Throughout the novella, Billy Budd is admiringly compared to various Christian figures.
He is often described as similar to Adam, emphasizing his complete innocence and lack of experience with the civilized, corrupt world.
Billy Budd Herman Melville. American novelist, short story writer, and poet. The following entry presents criticism on Melville's novella Billy Budd (). Billy Budd - Discovered on a doorstep as an infant, Billy Budd is a fine physical specimen at age twenty-one, renowned for his good looks and gentle, innocent ways.
Upon taking up as a young seaman in the service of His Majesty the King of England, Billy grows into the near-perfect image of what Melville calls the “Handsome Sailor,” an ideal specimen . Herman Melville's novella Billy Budd (also known as 'Billy Budd, Sailor') is an icon of American literature.
In it, Melville explores innocence lost, the diabolical forces which conspire to corrupt and to harm, and the making of legends when integrity is preserved. Billy Budd study guide contains a biography of Herman Melville, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.