Billy Budd Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. To what does the narrator suggest the reader should turn to in the hopes of understanding Claggart's character?
(a) The earth.
(b) The sea.
(c) The Bible.
(d) The stars.

2. How does the sailor Billy threatened in chapter 14 react to Billy in chapter 15?
(a) He is timid.
(b) He is very aggressive.
(c) He is very friendly.
(d) He refuses to look Billy in the eye.

3. What word does Claggart use to describe the spill?
(a) Handsome.
(b) Cute.
(c) Gorgeous.
(d) Beautiful.

4. How is discipline maintained on the Bellipotent?
(a) Strictly, but with fair consideration to the welfare of the sailors.
(b) Through a monetary system of rewards and penalties.
(c) With unnecessary cruelty.
(d) In a relaxed fashion, almost too relaxed for Admiral Nelson.

5. Who is Squeak?
(a) Claggart's pet mouse.
(b) The bosun.
(c) The ship's cook.
(d) Claggart's secret accomplice.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Billy feel about the meeting with the mysterious man the next morning, when he wakes up?

2. Which Captain is involved in the mutiny at Nore?

3. What is Andrew Marvall's profession?

4. What does the narrator claim is the most dangerous part of Claggart's evil?

5. Which naval ship does Billy serve on?

Short Essay Questions

1. What transition does Captain Vere go through when Billy is in his office listening to the accusations being brought against him?

2. What does Claggart recognize in Billy Budd's character that drives him further into envy?

3. Who is revealed as being the tormentor playing dirty tricks on Billy Budd?

4. What does the narrator note about Claggart as he walks away from Billy's spilled soup?

5. What irony is evident in the nature of Captain Vere's death?

6. How does Melville compare Billy's death to Jesus' crucifixion?

7. Who is Squeak, and what purpose does he serve?

8. What changes about the way the men aboard ship treat Billy after his encounter with the mysterious man in the middle of the night?

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

10. Why does the Captain order such a hasty and seemingly unfair trial for Claggart's murder?

(see the answer keys)

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