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 nickname for a sailor who is good-looking and a great leader?

2. How does Billy respond to the man's bribe?

3. What does the narrator compare Billy's morality to?

4. In chapter two, how does Billy react to his new shipmates?

5. What do the sailors estimate John Claggart's motivation is for joining the navy?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Starry Vere?

2. Why is Admiral Nelson chosen to captain the mutinous ship of sailors, and what is the response to his efforts aboard ship?

3. How does the narrator express the notion that gunpowder changes the way battles are fought at sea?

4. What explanations are given for the odd nature of Billy's death?

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

6. How does Billy respond to Claggart's accusations about the mutiny?

7. How does Captain Vere earn the nickname "Starry Vere"?

8. What religious event compares to Billy's funeral?

9. In what ways does the narrator express that Captain Vere is different from the previous captain, Admiral Nelson?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The novel, Billy Budd, is full of rich symbolism. Choose one object, or person, that acts as a symbol in the novel, explain its significance, and discuss the way that the symbol evolves throughout the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast Captain Vere, Captain Bligh and Admiral Nelson. How does each man's command style affect his crew? How does each man's personality affect his relationship with his crew, and how does that relationship affect the morale of the crew?

Essay Topic 3

How does literature affect Captain Vere's character? How does the genre of Captain Vere's literary preference affect his relationship with his officers and crew? How do the ideals presented in Captain Vere's favored literature affect his command style and decision making process?

(see the answer keys)

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