Captain Vere’s Decision for Billy Budd’s Punishment
In the novel Billy Budd, sailor, Captain Vere’s Sort decision focuses on Billy Budd's tendency to act his emotions. In one respect, Captain Vere made the right decision because Billy Budd killed Claggart, but in another Captain Vere made the wrong decision because Billy Budd did not mean to kill Claggart. Captain Vere makes the right decision to execute Billy because Captain Vere has to set an example. For example, when Billy Budd and Captain Vere are talking in Billy Budd's cell he came out with a nervous face. The narrator says, "[…] the face he beheld, for the moment one expressive of the agony of the strong "(103). This relates to Captain Vere having to make an example because his facial expression shows he did not want to make the decision he has to make. Another example is that Captain Vere did not want other sailors to think it is ok to kill people. Captain Vere sets an example because if he did not charge Billy other sailors might kill out of anger. In another sense, Captain Vere did not make the right decision because Billy Budd did not mean to kill Claggart. For example, after Billy hits Claggart and the nurse pronounces him dead, Billy Budd says he did not mean to kill Claggart. Billy says,” ‘I did not mean to kill him’"(91). Billy Budd did not kill Claggart on purpose because Billy Budd says he did not mean to hit him as hard as he did. Another example is Billy Budd is sorry that Claggart is dead. Billy Budd says," I am sorry that he is dead."(91). Obviously Billy Budd did not kill Claggart on purpose because Billy Budd would not be sorry that Claggart is dead if he had killed him on purpose. In the end, Captain Vere does make the right decision according to the law. According to the law, Billy Budd had to be executed because he is never proven innocent of not creating a mutiny. The narrator says, “Under the so-called Articles of War, Articles modeled upon the English Mutiny...
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