Billy Budd by Herman Melville fits into both categories of tragedy, classic and modern. This story fits into both Aristotle’s and Arthur Miller’s concepts of tragedy. Billy Budd is this story’s tragic hero and its his actions that determine how this story fits into both categories.The classic definition of tragedy is Aristotle’s, that the tragic hero must be noble and have a tragic flaw. He must also experience a reversal of fortune and recognize the reason for his downfall. This couldn’t be any more like Billy’s story. Billy played was a respected and loved sailor with an embarrassing stutter, but was accused of conspiring to stage a mutiny. This changes Billy’s life dramatically resulting in him to kill an officer, and sentenced to death. Before he is executed though he blesses the man who sentenced him to death, which tells the reader that he had forgiven him and understands why he must be killed. Aristotle’s definition says a tragedy should have “incidents arousing pity and fear”. The incident with Claggart must have certainly caused the reader to pity him and to fear how Captain Vere would handle Billy. The modern concept of tragedy is that of Arthur Miller’s, that the audience feels and fears for the characters so much that it is as if they are the characters themselves. The characters finally meet their tragic end, and the audience witnesses and understands their end. This applies to Billy mostly because of his likeability. The readers come to love Billy as his fellows sailors do. He is completely innocent and naive at the same time. The readersees his weakness and comes to feel sorry for Billy the way one might for a child. The reader sympathizes with Billy especially when he is confronted by Claggart and can do nothing, but stutter. The reader is with Billy throughout and witnesses his transformation at the end. In this fashion, Billy Budd is both a classic and modern tragedy.
English 102 M
“Billy Budd” Annotated Bibliography
4 March 2013
AMERICAN LITERATURE, June 1997; Copyright 1997 by H. Bruce Franklin
In this article posted on a Rutgers University page, it is discussed that the story of “Billy Budd” written by Herman Melville, subject is “capitol punishment and its history.” Throughout the nineteenth century capitol punishment was even an even more cruel and unusual punishment. Many argue that the capitol punishment was for people in power….
Billy Budd is a 21 year old foretopman. I don’t know who my parents are, I was an abandoned child. I am big, strong and physically beautiful, my nickname is “Handsome Sailor.” I am also called “Baby Budd,” because it represents my childlike youthfulness and innoncence. I am well liked by others and I am also very innocent. I am naive and I don’t think anyone would ever be out to get me because I have never directly confronted evil. I am good natured and I have no malice for anyone. I have always….
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….
vs. Evil in “Billy Budd”
There has always been an unrelenting struggle between good and evil. Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd” delves into the conflict that exists between natural innocence and goodness, evident through the characterization of Billy Budd, and the deceptiveness of evil, represented by the character John Claggart.
Characterization is used to differentiate between good and evil. Billy Budd is portrayed as a very pure Christ-like character before his demise. Billy Budd is "like a young….
Melville’s Billy Bud
This excerpt by Melville is from the scene where the chaplain is with Billy before his execution. This part of the passage is saying that even though "the worthy man" Captain Vere and in this scene the Chaplain essentially knows that Billy is innocent in all of the ways that truly matter, he did not try to help him. Therefore Billy becomes a "martyr of martial discipline." Neither Captain Vere nor the Chaplain can step outside the bounds of their position to help Billy just because….
prominent feature existing throughout Herman Melville's novella, "Billy Budd." Although the major conflict exists between Billy Budd and John Claggart, there are several internal conflicts found within certain characters. One of the most prominent internal conflicts is John Claggart's.
One of Claggart's main internal conflicts is his jealous envy of Billy Budd. Billy's overall makeup as a character is everything that Claggart wants to be. Billy is a healthy sailor, large in size, and not afraid of hard….
novella, “Billy Budd,” as he confronted Captain Vere with the intention of accusing Billy Budd of mutiny. Leon Howard articulated that through his novella, Herman Melville emphasizes the significance of maintaining the balance between the id and the superego in relation to surviving in a world where….
Melville's Billy Budd, Melville uses the literary device of foreshadowing to allow the audience to be aware of Billy's inevitable fate before the characters in the novel, thus creating a feeling of suspense within the novel.
In chapter one, the incident with the Red Whiskers (12) functions as a foreshadowing of Billy's confrontation with Claggart. This is very similar to what happens later between John Claggart and Billy (58). Melville uses the incident to show that although Billy Budd is a gentle….
he is most famous for his classic novel, Moby Dick, his shorter and lesser known novella, Billy Budd manages to muster an intense and thought provoking plot. Melville uses the story of an innocent sailor named Billy Budd to formulate an intricate social allegory. Showing firm position, Melville sets up a parallel between the story’s conflict and the moral dilemma for the everyday reader. The story of Billy Budd becomes a fitting example of an allegory, as is becomes a mode of illustration that conveys….
The story of Billy Budd focuses on the distinction between laws of nature and laws of society. Billy Budd is a seaman for the British Royal Navy that is forced off his current ship, to a new ship and new crew. Billy’s primary quality is his extraordinary innocence. One of his main weaknesses is his lack of ability to comprehend evil and become blind due to his kindness. This along with his speech impediment ultimately leads to Billy’s demise.
Due to his good looks and natural charisma, he becomes….