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

2. What happens to Captain Vere after he is wounded?

3. How does Claggart die?

4. What is unusual about Billy's death?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Why does Billy refuse to believe that Claggart is orchestrating the events that are plaguing him?

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

9. Describe Billy's funeral.

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

How does emotional repression affect the development of emotion among the sailors on the Bellipotent? How does Claggart's repression of feelings magnify his anger? What is the consequence of his repression? How does Billy's repression of his feelings magnify his sense of confusion? What is the consequence of his repression?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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