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 the article about the Bellipotent view Billy's death?

2. What is unusual about Billy's death?

3. What is attributed to will power in chapter 26?

4. Why doesn't the surgeon question the captain's orders?

5. How is Billy's body prepared for burial?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Claggart's funeral.

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

3. How does Captain Vere explain Billy's execution to the crew?

4. Why isn't the chaplain worried about Billy's impending judgment?

5. What is ironic about Billy's impending trial?

6. How does Melville compare the politics that surround Billy's case with Jesus' trial?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What ironies are evident throughout the novel? What ironic elements are present in Billy's trial and execution? What ironic elements are presented in the manner in which Billy's story is reported on land versus at sea?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss Melville's theory of moral depravity. How does innate moral depravity compare to moral depravity caused by licentious (sexually immoral) living? What evidence does Melville give to prove that Claggart is suffering from a form of insanity that manifests itself as innate moral depravity?

(see the answer keys)

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