Essay/Term paper: Billy budd: was captain vere right?
Essay, term paper, research paper: English Literature Essays
Billy Budd: Was Captain Vere Right?
Captain Vere makes the right decision by executing Billy Budd. If
CaptainVere lets Billy live the rest of the crew might get the impression that
they will not be held accountable for their crimes. If the crew feels that they
can get away with what ever they want then there is a chance that they might
form a rebellion and have a mutiny. A mutiny would destroy the stability and
good name of the ship and the crew. Captain Vere does not want to see this
happen. There are three main reasons Captain Vere makes the right decision by
executing Billy Budd. These reasons are that if Billy lives then a mutiny might
occur, because the law states that a crime as severe as Billy's is punishable by
death, and Captain Vere feels sorry for Billy and does not want Billy to suffer
with guilt until a martial court could give a decision.
If Billy is not executed then corruption might occur on the ship and
cause a mutiny. Captain Vere knows that a mutiny might occur and does not want
it to happen. Captain Vere could possibly be using Billy's execution for his
crime of killing Claggart as an example for the rest of the crew. It shows the
crew what will happen to them if they try to start a mutiny. After Billy's
death CaptainVere obviously feels regret for executing Billy. Captain Vere's
last words are "Billy Budd, Billy Budd" (p. 76) show an example of this. Those
last words might symbolize that Captain Vere killed Billy for the wrong reasons.
If CaptainVere uses Billy's death for an example to the rest of the crew then it
might not necessarily be the wrong reason. CaptainVere has to decide between
one life and the lives of the entire crew. No matter what Captain Vere's
reasons are he does make the right decision.
Another reason CaptainVere might of executed Billy Budd is because
CaptainVere follows the law to the letter. The law states that mutiny is
punishable to by death. Some readers might not see this accidental murder as
mutiny, but killing a superior officer in the British navy is considered mutiny.
In Captain Vere's decision he shows the crew that no infractions of the law will
be tolerated. In the story CaptainVere is described as "never tolerating an
infraction of discipline" (p. 16). This trait could be the reason for Billy's
Another reason Captain Vere might execute Billy Budd is that he does not
want Billy to suffer with his extreme guilty until a martial court can see his
case. Captain Vere probably had a personal attachment to Billy. This is
evident when Captain Vere says, "struck dead by an angel of God! Yet the angel
must hang!" (p. 51). This statement implies Captain Vere's true feelings for
Billy. If Captain Vere had let a martial court try the case then they would
most likely come to the same conclusion. Because of this fact Captain Vere did
not find it necessary to make Billy wait for a trial.
Captain Vere made the right decision by executing Billy for his crimes.
Although the decision was controversial it kept stability among the crew. The
crew's fate is more important than any individual sailor's fate. If Captain
Vere had made the opposite decision than there probably would be a very horrible
fate for the Bellipotent. Billy Budd could be considered a tragic hero. In his
short life Billy touched more lives than most people do in there entire lives.
Billy is somebody that most readers would agree is a tragic hero. Even though
Billy Budd is so great, Captain Vere made the right decision.
Other sample model essays:
"Bobby," yelled his mother in a shrill voice. "Bobby, you have to get up
and go to school today!"
"But mom, I have to work at school and I can't watch TV there," Bob
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The book opens with a scene of a ship in the Arctic Ocean. The ship is
stuck in the ice and unable to move. Robert Walton, the ship's captain,...
Book Review: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway Pages Read: 74 (really busy)
For Whom The Bell Tolls begins with a pyrotechnic for the Russian army
reviewing the land where he...
A Review: The Day of the Jackal
Josh Holloway Period 2, English 3-4
The Day of the Jackal, written by Fredrick Forsyth, is a fictional novel that
displays the author's brilliance by settin...
Uh-Oh: Some Observations From Both Sides of The Refrigerator Door
Book By Robert Fulghum Report by (Your Name Here)
Uh-Oh was written by Robert Fulghum, it is 244 pages long and was p...
Animal Farm: Character Analysis of Napoleon
by: George Orwell Book Review by George Lacy Mrs. Spain Fall '96
"Napoleon was a large rather fierce looking Berkshire boar," that was spoiled
Canticle For Leibowitz: Walter Miller
Walter Miller, in the novel A Canticle For Leibowitz, mocks the way we
are as humans, particularly in those ways that lead to regressive thinking. Th...
Catcher In The Rye
The Catcher in the Rye, starts off with the main character, Holden
Caulfield being expelled from school once again. Holden is a sixteen year old
boy who has been expell...
Ceremony by Leslie Silko
The novel Ceremony, written by Leslie Silko deals with the actions of a Native
American youth after fighting, and being held captive during World War II. The
Character Analysis for The Portable Phonograph
Walter Van Tilburg Clark's short story, The Portable Phonograph, is a
tale about the last survivors in the world after the total destruction o...