Billy Budd | Critical Essay by Charles Robert Anderson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of Billy Budd.
This section contains 7,206 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phil Withim

Critical Essay by Charles Robert Anderson

SOURCE: “The Genesis of Billy Budd,” in American Literature, Vol. XII, No. 3, November, 1940, pp. 328–46.

In the following essay, Anderson traces the origin of Billy Budd.

After a decade of prolific authorship as a young man, Herman Melville abandoned his pen in mid-career for reasons not yet altogether clear. The long quietus of thirty years that followed was unbroken save by two ventures into poetry: the thin and halting Battle Pieces (1866) and the unhappy Clarel (1876). It is somewhat surprising, therefore, to find literary aspiration still latent in the former author who, nearing his biblical allotment of years, emerged from the New York Custom House in 1886. It is still more surprising that for his swan song he turned back once more to prose and to his first chosen and best milieu, the sea. For even...

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This section contains 7,206 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phil Withim
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