+ 1-888-787-5890  
   + 1-302-351-4405  
 
 
 
 

Essay/Term paper: Critical essay on billy budd

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Essays

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on College Essays: Critical Essay On Billy Budd, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.



Critical Essay on Billy Budd


Charles Reich's assessment of the conflict in Billy Budd focuses on the
distinction between the laws of society and the laws of nature. Human law says
that men are "the sum total of their actions, and no more." Reich uses this as a
basis for his assertion that Billy is innocent in what he is, not what he does.
The point of the novel is therefore not to analyze the good and evil in Billy or
Claggart, but to put the reader in the position of Captain Vere, who must
interpret the laws of both man and nature.
Reich supports Vere's decision to hang Billy. In defense of this he
alludes to a famous English court case, in which three men were accused of
murder. However, the circumstances which led them to murder were beyond their
control; they had been stranded at sea and forced to kill and eat their fourth
companion, who had fallen ill and was about to die anyway. The Judge, Lord
Coleridge, found them guilty because "law cannot follow nature's principle of
self-preservation." In other words, necessity is not a justification for killing,
even when this necessity is beyond human control. Since Billy is unable to
defend himself verbally, he "responds to pure nature, and the dictates of
necessity" by lashing out at Claggart. I agree with Reich's notion that Vere was
correct in hanging Billy, and that it is society, not Vere, who should be
criticized for this judgement; for Vere is forced to reject the urgings of his
own heart and his values to comply with the binding laws of man.
First, the moral issue aside, Captain Vere had no choice but to convict
Billy. As captain of a ship under pressure of war and the constant threat of
mutiny, Vere had to act swiftly. Also, as captain, Vere had the responsibility
of making sure the laws were strictly enforced, including the Mutiny Act.
Although Vere knew in his heart Billy was innocent, Billy's actions had to be
punished.
For Vere to have acquitted Billy would mean that he had placed the
divine law of nature above the laws he was bound to enforce as captain of a
British ship. Although this would have been morally right, who is to say where
to draw the line? This rhetorical question is what Melville wants his readers to
think about. Melville could have easily written in the plot that Vere went along
with the captain's suggestion to call witnesses. With the testimonies of Dansker,
the afterguardsman, and Squeak, Billy could have been cleared of the mutiny
charge. But I agree with Reich that Melville wanted to use Billy as an example
of the flaws in the laws of society; that they do not take into account the laws
of nature. However, until we reform our laws in such a way that we cannot be
punished for something out of our control, we cannot expect the laws to be
interpreted that way.

Bibliography

Charles A. Reich, "The Tragedy of Justice in Billy Budd," Critical Essays on
Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor, pp. 127-143

 

Other sample model essays:

Criticism of Practical Application of Utopia in "Brave New World" Debra Ackerman Mrs. Eileen Waite Criticism of Practical Application of Utopia in Brave New World Aldous Huxley's Br...
Critical Analysis of "The Indifferent" by John Donne "The Indifferent" by John Donne is a relatively simple love poem in comparison to his other, more complicated works. In this poe...
Critical Summary of Cultural Effects on Eating Attitudes in Israeli Subpopulations and Hospitalized Anorectics In the article "Cultural Effects on Eating Attitudes in Israeli Subpop...
Critical Analysis of "The Eagle" by Lord Tennyson The name of the poem I am writing about is called "The Eagle" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It is in figurative language form. The poem is...
Alex's Analysis of Any Abject Abuse The destruction of the grand style of the epic is just what Pope was after in his mock epic, "The Rape of the Lock." Pope had no such universal g...
Argumentative Essays / Critique Of "The Invisible Man"
Critique of "The Invisible Man" The goal of every person is to find their place in society. The journey itself is a hard one, but sometimes unforeseen obstacles make this journey nearl...
A Critique of "Gone to Soldiers" by Marge Piercy The novel Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy intricately weaves the lives of many different people into a connected series of individual plots...
The Crucible: Reverend John Hale - A Dynamic Character In literature, there are different types of characters. There are the types of characters that change during the story and some that ...
The Crucible: The Evilness and Selfishness of Abigail Williams In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, there is one character who, because of her selfish and evil ways, causes the destructi...
Cry, the Beloved Country: Stimulating a Change The purpose of Cry, the Beloved Country, is to awaken the population of South Africa to the racism that is slowly disintegrating the socie...
it is always perfect
Frederick, Maryland, United States
The experience with Dream Essay is stress free. Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer 17663 is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Dream Essay is excellent. Writer 7135 is excellent. Met all requirements of the paper produce superb work. Thank you for your time and an excellent paper.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Writer 37301 is excellent produces assignments ahead of deadline which provides enough time for review and revisions, and the assignments are done according to rubrics. Excellent
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Only competent & proven writers
Original writing — no plagiarism
Our papers are never resold or reused, period
Satisfaction guarantee — free unlimited revisions
Client-friendly money back guarantee
Total confidentiality & privacy
Guaranteed deadlines
Live Chat & 24/7 customer support
All academic and professional subjects
All difficulty levels
12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins
The fastest turnaround in the industry
Fully documented research — free bibliography guaranteed
Fax (additional info): 866-332-0244
Fax (additional info): 866-308-7123
Live Chat Support
Need order related assistance?—Click here to submit a inquiry
© Dreamessays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Dreamessays.com is the property of MEDIATECH LTD