Billy Budd Test | Final 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 concerns the officers in chapter 20?

2. Which two characters begin to suspect Billy of wrongdoing?

3. Where is John Claggart buried?

4. How does Meville characterize Billy?

5. What penalty does the court consider for Billy in chapter 22?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Billy react to Claggart's accusation?

2. What accusation does Claggart bring against Billy?

3. Describe Billy's funeral.

4. How does Claggart's expression begin to betray his feelings in chapter 17?

5. How is Billy like a sacrificial lamb?

6. Why does Captain Vere feel it necessary to deliver the court's verdict to Billy personally?

7. Why does Billy cry out "God bless Captain Vere!" moments before his execution?

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

9. How does Melville explain the trusting nature of most sailors?

10. What explanation does Billy give for being called to the captain's cabin in chapter 19?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the qualities of the quintessential "Handsome Sailor". How does the "Handsome Sailor" affect the attitudes and actions of the crew of the Bellipotent? What risks are associated with being the "Handsome Sailor"?

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

What is a "cat's paw" and which characters represent this analogy? Why does Claggart choose to use a "cat's paw" instead of dealing with Billy himself? How does the use of the "cat's paw" backfire on Claggart?

(see the answer keys)

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