Billy Budd Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What type of sailor is described as being a "Handsome Sailor"?

A handsome sailor is described as being particularly good-looking, strong, and with exemplary leadership skills. The narrator sees a docked African sailor and Billy Budd as being examples of this type of sailor.

2. How does it come to pass that Billy Budd is reassigned to the King's fleet?

Billy's ship, The Rights of Man, is making its way home from a delivery and is stopped in the water by the King's ship "The Bellipotent", which is low on sailors. The captain of that ship is drawn to Billy and has him reassigned.

3. What is revealed about Billy Budd's childhood in the second chapter?

It is revealed that Billy Budd was abandoned by his parents on the doorstep of a stranger. The narrator speculates that Billy is probably of noble descent because of his beautiful physical characteristics.

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