Billy Budd Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Billy threaten to do to the sailor in chapter 14?

2. Who is Squeak?

3. Which character does Squeak play tricks on?

4. What is John Claggart's position on the ship?

5. Why do personalities seem clash more aboard a ship?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who is Starry Vere?

3. Why is Claggart "down" on Billy?

4. How does Billy's innocence affect his ability to react to the afterguardsman's proposal?

5. How do ruling bodies on board a ship compare to ruling bodies on land?

6. Which one of the seven deadly sins drives Claggart to destroy Billy?

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

8. Who is the afterguardsman?

9. Describe Billy Budd.

10. Who is the Dansker and how does he help Billy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What role does fate play in the novel? Which characters accept their proposed fates and which characters appear to struggle against fate? How does fate affect justice?

Essay Topic 2

How does Melville demonstrate the contrast between good and evil? Which characters and actions are used to represent good and evil? How is the war between good and evil represented in the novel? What affect does this war have on the characters?

Essay Topic 3

Provide a brief description of the following literary elements the novel: Introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement (resolution). How does emotion affect the progression of each element?

(see the answer keys)

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