Billy Budd | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by G. Giovannini

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of Billy Budd.
This section contains 2,926 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by G. Giovannini

Critical Essay by G. Giovannini

SOURCE: “The Hanging Scene in Melville's Billy Budd,” in Modern Language Notes, Vol. 70, No. 7, November, 1955, pp. 491–97.

In the following essay, Giovannini provides an interpretation of the hanging scene in Billy Budd which emphasizes the dualism of the story and rejects the conventional view of the ending as nihilistic and pessimistic.

In some recent scholarship on Billy Budd, and particularly in studies by [Joseph] Schiffman and [H. M.] Campbell, the irony in the hanging scene is urged against the generally held view that this last novel shows a changed and more or less orthodox Melville who has ceased to rebel.1 In Billy Budd we are to see the Melville of the earlier novels, still bitterly protesting against social and cosmic evil and making, according to Campbell, a compelling case in Billy's execution for a nihilistic...

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This section contains 2,926 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by G. Giovannini
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