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 25, what does the crew cry in unison?

2. Which ship does the Bellipotent engage in chapter 28?

3. How does the article about the Bellipotent view Billy's death?

4. According to the article about the Bellipotent, how is John Claggart murdered?

5. Which two groups of people does Melville compare in chapter 16?

Short Essay Questions

1. What explanation does Billy give for being called to the captain's cabin in chapter 19?

2. What misgivings do the surgeon and the other officers have about Billy's impending trial?

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

4. Describe Billy's funeral.

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

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

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

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

9. How is Billy like a sacrificial lamb?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does Melville demonstrate the contrast between good and evil? Which characters and actions are used to represent good and evil? How is the war between good and evil represented in the novel? What affect does this war have on the characters?

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 Billy Budd's character with John Claggart's character. Which characteristics indicate that Billy is the protagonist? Which characteristics indicate that Claggart is the antagonist? What role does innocence, truth, mystery and deception play in their characters?

(see the answer keys)

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