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 is the greatest fear in the British Navy?

2. Where does the first recorded mutiny of the British Navy occur?

3. Which naval ship does Billy serve on?

4. What does the sailor in chapter 14 want Billy to join?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Admiral Nelson.

2. How does the scourging affect Billy?

3. What does Claggart mean when he says, "Handsomely done, my lad! And handsome is as handsome does it, too!" ?

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

5. Describe Billy Budd.

6. How does the social climate on board a ship compare to the social climate on land?

7. Who is the afterguardsman?

8. What is Billy's one flaw?

9. What is Captain Vere's favorite hobby?

10. How do the sailors on board the Bellipotent view John Claggart?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What role does the fear of mutiny play in the novel? How does the fear of mutiny affect discipline on board 18th century British ships? Describe two forms of discipline utilized on board ships in the 18th century and indicate the strengths and weaknesses of each form of discipline.

Essay Topic 2

What is Billy's Achilles' heel and how does it affect his character? Does Billy's Achilles' heel negate his standing as the "Handsome Sailor" of the Bellipotent? Why or why not? If Billy's is the "Handsome Sailor" of the Bellipotent, how does his Achilles' heel affect the other characters?

Essay Topic 3

According to Melville, why are sailors more trusting than men who live on land? How does age and training relate to the trust Melville claims sailors exhibit? Why does Billy have a greater sense of trust than Claggart since both are sailors?

(see the answer keys)

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