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. How does Billy react to his impending doom?

2. Which character stares at Billy with a meditative and melancholy expression in chapter 17?

3. In chapter 20, what does the surgeon want to do?

4. What is a drumhead court?

5. Which character becomes very friendly towards Billy in chapter 17?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Claggart's funeral.

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

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

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

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

7. What is unusual about Billy's death?

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

9. How do the sailors of the Bellipotent honor Billy's memory?

10. How does Melville compare religion to righteous living?

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

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

Discuss the difference between reporting illicit activities and tattling. Which factors prevent Billy from reporting the afterguardsman to the captain? What effect does not reporting the incident have on Billy's character? How might the outcome of the novel be different if Billy had chosen to report the afterguardsman to his superiors?

(see the answer keys)

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