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Critical Essay | Critical Essay by H. Bruce Franklin

This literature criticism consists of approximately 30 pages of analysis & critique of Critical Essay by H. Bruce Franklin.
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Critical Essay by H. Bruce Franklin

SOURCE: “Billy Budd and Capital Punishment: A Tale of Three Centuries,” in American Literature, Vol. 69, No. 2, June, 1997, pp. 337–59.

In the following essay, Franklin traces the history of capital punishment and its importance to Melville's Billy Budd.

Has any work of American literature generated more antithetical and mutually hostile interpretation than Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor? And all the battles about the moral and political vision at the heart of the tale swirl around one question: Are we supposed to admire or condemn Captain Vere for his decision to sentence Billy Budd to death by public hanging?1 Somehow, astonishingly enough, nobody seems to have noticed that central to the story is the subject of capital punishment and its history.

This is true even in the ten essays constituting the first number of Cardozo Studies...

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This section contains 8,767 words
(approx. 30 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Critical Essay by H. Bruce Franklin - Critical Essay by H. Bruce Franklin
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