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. Why does the crew assemble together in chapter 25?

2. When is Billy due to be executed?

3. Which other characters has odd weather changes occur during his death?

4. Which character is the hammock-boy sent to find in chapter 18?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe the drumhead court that convenes in chapter 21.

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

8. How is Billy like a sacrificial lamb?

9. Describe Billy's funeral.

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

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

How is supernatural symbolism used throughout the novel? When Captain Vere presents Billy to the crew as a murderer, how do the supernatural symbols present during Billy's execution and burial contradict the captain's claims? How is supernatural symbolism used to honor Billy's memory and preserve the truth?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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