Billy Budd | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Terence J. Matheson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 16 pages of analysis & critique of Billy Budd.
This section contains 4,736 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Terence J. Matheson

Critical Essay by Terence J. Matheson

SOURCE: “A New Look at Melville's Claggart,” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 17, No. 4, Fall, 1980, pp. 445–53.

In the following essay, Matheson disputes the conventional view of John Claggart as a conniving, evil character.

It is surprising to find so little critical disagreement over the role played in Billy Budd, Sailor by John Claggart, the master-at-arms having been depicted almost without exception as an evil, Satanic figure who entraps Billy in a diabolical lie of his own creation in order to destroy him. Most critics agree with Nathalia Wright's observation that Claggart “has a seaman offer Billy two guineas to join a proposed mutiny group”1 as the initial step in his plot to bring the Handsome Sailor down. It is further assumed Claggart uses “all the deceits, strategems...

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This section contains 4,736 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Terence J. Matheson
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