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. What is Captain Vere's favorite hobby?
(a) Sailing.
(b) Chess.
(c) Reading.
(d) Shuffleboard.

2. What event motivates Billy to excel in his duties?
(a) A scourging.
(b) His promotion.
(c) A hanging.
(d) A keelhauling.

3. What is Billy's one weakness?
(a) He gets seasick during rough weather.
(b) He loves women.
(c) He stutters.
(d) He drinks.

4. What causes Billy to lose his voice on occasion?
(a) Stress.
(b) Fear.
(c) Illness.
(d) An odd genetic malfunction.

5. Who is Red Whiskers?
(a) Billy's big, shaggy red-haired friend.
(b) The Captain of the HMS Bellipotent.
(c) The ship's cat.
(d) The Captain of the Rights-of-Man

Short Answer Questions

1. Which character remains cheerful, despite clandestine attempts of persecution?

2. Why is Billy on the uppermost deck in chapter 14?

3. How old is Billy?

4. How is John Claggart's appearance described in chapter eight?

5. Which mutiny is discussed in chapter five?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a "Handsome Sailor"?

2. How does Melville explain moral depravity?

3. How do the officers aboard the Bellipotent view Captain Vere?

4. How does Melville contrast Billy and Claggart's characters?

5. How does Billy's threat of physical force when confronted by the afterguardsman foreshadow his downfall?

6. Describe Billy's background.

7. What advice does the Dansker give Billy about his confrontation with the afterguardsman?

8. What changes the face of naval warfare in the 18th century?

9. How does deception destroy both Claggart and Billy?

10. Describe Admiral Nelson.

(see the answer keys)

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