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 odd weather appears the moment of Billy's death?

2. How does Meville characterize Billy?

3. Why does the crew assemble together in chapter 25?

4. What sentence does the court render in chapter 23?

5. How does Melville characterize sailors in general?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Melville compare Billy's death to Jesus' crucifixion?

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

3. What is the significance of Captain Vere's last words?

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

5. What is unusual about Billy's death?

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

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

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

9. Why are the events on the Bellipotent distorted in the naval chronicle?

10. How are the events that occur on the Bellipotent distorted on land?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What role does fate play in the novel? Which characters accept their proposed fates and which characters appear to struggle against fate? How does fate affect justice?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

How is sarcasm used in the novel? Compare the use of sarcasm with deception. How does Billy's innocence contrast with Claggart's sarcasm? How does it affect his perception of the sarcasm? What did Claggart really mean when he said, "Handsomely done, my lad! And handsome is as handsome did it, too!"

(see the answer keys)

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